Restaurant chain Gourmet Burger Kitchen has been bought out of administration by Boparan Restaurant Group in a deal that will secure 35 sites and 669 jobs.
However, 26 of GBK’s restaurants will be shut and 362 jobs lost.
The chain was sold out of administration in a pre-pack administration deal by accountancy firm Deloitte, which said in an emailed statement that “... COVID-19 and associated lockdown measures have impacted the business’ liquidity, driving the need to find a funding or sale solution.”
Gavin Maher, joint administrator at Deloitte, explained that "As with a number of dining businesses, the broader challenges facing 'bricks and mortar' operators, combined with the effect of the lockdown, resulted in a deterioration in financial performance and a material funding requirement.
"We have been working closely with the management team under very difficult market conditions to try and find a funding solution and I am glad to be able to announce the rescue of this well-loved brand together with a large proportion of the sites and workforce.
"However, it's clearly disappointing that a number of sites have had to close resulting in today's redundancies,” he added.
Boparan is owned by poultry tycoon Ranjit Boparan. Earlier this year he also rescued restaurant chain Carluccio's out of insolvency.
GBK said it had started to see improvements in trading last year after a major restructuring process in 2018, which saw it shut a raft of sites.
However, the company, which had been owned by South African group Famous Brands, said it slid into administration amid the pandemic.
The hospitality sector has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing lockdowns. Earlier this week prime minister Boris Johnson defended restrictions imposed on the sector, stating that similar measures have been introduced elsewhere in Europe.
The comments came as the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said further lockdown restrictions targeting the industry “will” lead to permanent closures and job losses.
In July, restaurant chains Zizzi and ASK Italian are set to close 75 outlets putting 1,200 jobs at risk.
Here is a list of all the GBK restaurants in the UK that will shut down:
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