Some Frankie & Benny’s restaurants may not reopen after lockdown

PUBLISHED: 10:33 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 June 2020

Some Frankie & Benny's may not reopen after the coronavirus lockdown ends  PICTURE: Lucy Taylor

Some Frankie & Benny's may not reopen after the coronavirus lockdown ends PICTURE: Lucy Taylor

Fears have been raised over Suffolk’s Frankie & Benny’s restaurants after reports a “large number” of outlets will remain closed after lockdown.

The chain, which has two branches in Ipswich as well as sites in Bury St Edmunds and Colchester, announced in February that it would be closing 90 restaurants by the end of the year.

Now, according to an email seen by the BBC, the owner of dining chain The Restaurant Group (TRG) is set to tell staff on Wednesday that many sites are “no longer viable to trade and will remain closed permanently”.

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The email adds: “The Covid-19 crisis has significantly impacted our ability to trade profitably, so we’ve taken the tough decision to close these restaurants now.”

Even though it is not clear how many sites will be affected, the BBC says the message was sent to managers in the group’s leisure division, which consists of more than 200 Frankie & Benny’s restaurants.

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The BBC says TRG declined to comment on the report.

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In March, TRG was forced to shut a majority of its Chiquito Mexican-style outlets, as well as its Food & Fuel chain of pubs in London, after falling into administration.

The company, which also owns Wagamama and Garfunkel’s, is one of the largest restaurant operators in Britain.

It currently has around 22,000 staff on furlough.

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