LONDON: The restaurant group owned by Britain's Indian-origin "chicken king", Ranjit Singh Boparan, is set to shut down 27 of its outlets as part of a deal to save the wider brands due to over-supply of restaurants in the sector and a softening of consumer demand.
The Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) unveiled plans this week to close around a third of the branches of Giraffe and Ed's Easy Diner restaurant chains this week, affecting an estimated 300 workers. "We have been examining options for the two brands for some time and the CVA [Company Voluntary Arrangement] is the only option to protect the company," said BRG chief executive Tom Crowley. "The combination of increasing costs and over-supply of restaurants in the sector and a softening of consumer demand have all contributed to the challenges both these brands face," he said.
The CVA process involves support from landlords and other creditors as part of arrangements to save the wider business. Boparan is referred to as 'chicken king' as the founder of the 2 Sisters Food Group, one of the UK's largest poultry supply businesses in the West Midlands region of England.
His BRG restaurant business owns a series of popular restaurant brands, including fish and chips chain Harry Ramsden. The company acquired Giraffe in June 2016, before buying Ed's Diner out of administration months later.
The company said while sales had improved since BRG bought the chains, some branches remained unprofitable. Britain's restaurant chains are battling a mix of increasing costs and consumer caution, resulting in a number of outlets facing closure over the past year.