The Restaurant Group set to announce closures this week

Restaurant Group

The owner of Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito is expected to announce site closures this week in a new blow to retail park landlords.

The Restaurant Group is preparing to dispose of more of its underperforming restaurant sites, many of which are in out-of-town retail parks.

Some of the sites could be converted into Wagamama restaurants, one of its best-performing brands, The Mail on Sunday reported.

The Restaurant Group, founded in 1987, said in September that it expected to cut its estate of 352 leisure division outlets by at least 50 per cent over the next few years. A hit from its restaurants, mostly Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito outlets, pushed the company to a statutory loss before tax of £87.7 million in the 26 weeks to June 30, against a £12.2 million profit of a year earlier.

The company is due to report its full-year results on Wednesday. Andy Hornby, 53, the former HBOS chief executive who was appointed to run the company last year, will offer his first major strategy update since joining in August.

Further closures will put pressure on retail park landlords, which have suffered from familiar high-street brands falling into administration or closing stores. Retail park rents fell by an average of 7.5 per cent in the first three quarters of last year, according to Savills, the property consultancy.