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Ed’s Easy Diner and Giraffe to close 27 restaurants

PUBLISHED: 11:21 04 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:33 04 March 2019

Giraffe and Eds Easy Diner to close 27 restaurants. File photo of 
 Giraffe restaurant in intu Chapelfield in Norwich.; Photo: Simon Finlay.

Giraffe and Eds Easy Diner to close 27 restaurants. File photo of Giraffe restaurant in intu Chapelfield in Norwich.; Photo: Simon Finlay.

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Hundreds of jobs are at risk after the owner of Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner launched plans to close sites.

The operator behind both restaurants has announced its intention to enter a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to close 27 of its 87 restaurants.

Giraffe has sites at intu Chapelfield in Norwich, Bury St Edmunds and Chelmsford. Ed’s Easy Diner has a restaurant in the food court of intu Chapelfield.

The business, which is owned by Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), said although like-for-like sales had improved at the brands since they were acquired, several sites remained unprofitable.

Tom Crowley, chief executive of BRG, said: “We have been examining options for the two brands for some time and the CVA is the only option to protect the company.

“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.”

Advisers from KPMG will oversee the process, as the proposal now goes to a creditor vote.

BRG owns a number of other household names, including fish and chip restaurant Harry Ramsden and the upmarket Cinnamon Collection.

It is also the master franchisee for US brand Slim Chickens, which first opened in the UK last year.

BRG acquired Giraffe from Tesco in 2016, and later combined it with Ed’s Easy Diner, which it had bought in a pre-pack administration that same year.

The two brands form a combined entity, which in the most recently available accounts had annual turnover of £67.1 million.

In the same period, underlying losses came to £1.6 million.

Last year, several casual dining brands overhauled their businesses, with some closing sites, amid rising costs and tougher competition in the sector.

Prezzo, Jamie’s Italian, Byron, Carluccio’s, Gaucho and Gourmet Burger Kitchen all shut restaurants.

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