Gourmet Burger Kitchen gets green light for plan to close 17 restaurants

Gourmet Burger

A fifth of Gourmet Burger Kitchen’s branches are to close after creditors approved the company’s restructuring plan on Friday.

The restaurant chain is to close 17 sites as part of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), putting 250 jobs at risk.

GBK said it would try to redeploy staff where possible.

“We’d like to thank the landlord community, our trade suppliers and our restaurant teams for their support through a challenging process,” said managing director Derrian Nadauld.

“With the positive vote on our proposal to restructure our property portfolio, we are now able to execute the final stage of our turnaround plan, which we are confident will position the business for long term sustainable growth”.

At the time of writing, GBK had not responded to requests for a list of the affected locations.

South Africa’s Famous Brands, which acquired GBK in 2016 for £120 million, has previously unveiled stinging losses at the burger chain.

The firm said in October that it would take a pre-tax impairment charge of 874 million rand (£47.2 million) due to the brand’s sustained under-performance.

Famous Brands issued a cautionary announcement in August, warning its shareholders that it was looking at options for its subsidiary.

That cautionary advice has now been lifted in light of the CVA’s approval.

Store closures at GBK represent the latest in a long line of casual dining firms to shut restaurants this year.

Gaucho, Carluccio’s, Prezzo, Byron and Jamie’s Italian have all fallen on hard times as costs have rocketed off the back of the Brexit-hit pound, while consumer confidence has nosedived as the economy falters.