Gourmet Burger King to close restaurants, cut 326 jobs despite bailout deal

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Gourmet Burger Kitchen will cut 362 jobs despite its takeover as part of a bailout agreement by the Boparan Restaurant group.

GBK said it will close 26 stores after a pre-pack administration process. Another 35 sites and 669 jobs will be saved, the company said on Wednesday.

The channel was bought under a bailout deal by British poultry magnate Ranjit Boparan, known as “Chicken King”.

Mr Boparan’s company owns chains such as Ed’s Diner and Harry Ramsden’s, as well as Birmingham-based meat processing company 2 Sisters Group, the UK’s largest food company by turnover.

He also bought Carluccio after he went bankrupt at the start of the pandemic.

GBK said it started to see improvements in trading last year after a major restructuring process in 2018, which saw it shut down a series of locations.

However, the company, which was owned by South African group Famous Brands, said it slipped into administration after the virus impacted its liquidity and sales potential as a creditworthy business.

The deal comes after a series of casual restaurant administrations, closures and sales. Wagamama, Cafe Rouge and Burger King are among the big names on the streets to look into restructuring as the pandemic worsens an already difficult prospect.

Gavin Maher, Co-Director at Deloitte, said: “As with a number of catering companies, the broader challenges facing ‘physical’ operators, combined with the effect of foreclosure, have resulted in a deterioration of financial performance and a significant financing requirement. .

“We have worked closely with the management team in very difficult market conditions to try to find a financing solution and I am happy to be able to announce the rescue of this beloved brand with a large part of the sites and workforce.

“However, it is clearly disappointing that a number of sites have had to close, resulting in current layoffs.

“We would like to thank everyone involved in the transaction, including our legal advisors, DLA Piper, and wish the management team, staff and the new owners, Boparan Restaurant Group, every success in pursuing the company.

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