The UK cafe chain EAT has closed down for good, ending almost a quarter of a century of trading.
The brand released a statement on social media confirming its disappearance from the UK high street on Monday. All stores have now closed.
The announcement comes amid widespread temporary closures of other food and drink outlets and retailers including Costa Coffee and McDonald’s over the coronavirus outbreak.
But the winding up of EAT began last year after it was sold, and the pandemic was not mentioned when it announced its own permanent closure.
EAT and its 90 stores were bought up by rival chain Pret A Manger last year for an undisclosed sum.
Many branches have been converted since to become Pret branches, including its new Veggie Pret brand stocking vegetarian-only products.
EAT said in a statement: “After 24 years of creating, making and serving real food, it is time for us to say goodbye. Thank you to all of our wonderful customers - we’ve loved every minute of our journey.”
EAT. The Real Food Company has now closed.— EAT News (@eat_news) March 23, 2020
After 24 years of creating, making and serving real food, it is time for us to say goodbye.
Thank You to all of our wonderful customers - we’ve loved every minute of our journey.
Love, The EAT. Team. pic.twitter.com/ti00odEMHF
Clive Schlee, CEO of Pret, had said last May the acquisition of EAT’s estate was a “wonderful opportunity to turbo charge the development of Veggie Pret and put significant resources behind it.”
Pret itself has also been forced to temporarily close its UK stores over the coronavirus and government’s social distancing plans to curb its spread.