Four Edinburgh restaurants could close as Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge and Las Iguanas owners set to enter administration

Casual Dining Group announced their intention to appoint administrators yesterday.

By Conor Matchett
Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 9:13 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 9:13 am
The owner of Bella Italia is set to enter administration.
The owner of Bella Italia is set to enter administration.

Four Edinburgh restaurants could be set to close as the owners of restaurant chains Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge and Las Iguanas look set to enter administration.

Around 6,000 jobs are at risk across the UK following the announcement by the Casual Dining Group which announced its intention to appoint administrators yesterday.

The company has four restaurants in Edinburgh, with two Bella Italia restaurants on North Bridge and Hanover Street, a Cafe Rouge on Frederick Street and a Las Iguanas on George Street.

The group also has several restaurants in Glasgow and across Scotland.

Their closure could see a significant number of workers left unemployed amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The restaurant group said the move to serve a notice of intent to appoint administrators to the High Court will give the firm 10 days breathing space to consider "all options" for restructuring.

Earlier on Monday, the company confirmed that it is working with advisers from corporate finance firm AlixPartners over a potential restructuring programme aimed at putting the restaurant group on a sustainable footing.

A Casual Dining Group spokeswoman said: "As is widely acknowledged, this is an unprecedented situation for our industry and, like many other companies across the UK, the directors of Casual Dining Group are working closely with our advisers as we consider our next steps.

"These notifications are a prudent measure in light of the company's position and the wider situation.

"These notifications will also protect the company from any threatened potential legal action from landlords while we review the detail of the Government advice, and formulate a plan for the company in these difficult times."

Restaurant chains have been hammered by the coronavirus pandemic after the Government-mandated lockdown forced them to shut their doors in March.

Leaders in the sector have warned that social distancing measures on reopening will significantly hinder profitability in the industry.

It is understood that a variety of arrangements are still being looked at by the Casual Dining Group, including company voluntary arrangement (CVA) restructuring deals or the administration of specific brands.

The group, which has furloughed the majority of its staff, traded from around 250 sites across the UK before the lockdown.

Additional reporting by the Press Association