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Question marks over future of Norfolk Frankie and Benny’s restaurants

PUBLISHED: 07:03 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:18 03 June 2020

Frankie and Benny's restaurant at the Riverside leisure quarter in Norwich. Picture: Archant

Frankie and Benny's restaurant at the Riverside leisure quarter in Norwich. Picture: Archant

Archant

A question mark is hanging over the future of three Norfolk restaurants after reports that a “large number” of Frankie & Benny’s outlets will remain closed after lockdown.

According to an email seen by the BBC, the owner of dining chain The Restaurant Group (TRG) is set to tell staff today (Wednesday, June 3) that many sites are “no longer viable to trade and will remain closed permanently”.

The email adds: “The COVID-19 crisis has significantly impacted our ability to trade profitably, so we’ve taken the tough decision to close these restaurants now.”

Although it is not clear how many sites will be affected, the BBC says the message was sent to managers in the group’s Leisure Division, which consists of more than 200 Frankie & Benny’s restaurants.

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The BBC says TRG declined to comment on the report.

In March, TRG was forced to shut a majority of its Chiquito Mexican-style outlets as well as its Food & Fuel chain of pubs in London after falling into administration.

The company, which also owns Wagamama and Garfunkel’s, is one of the largest restaurant operators in Britain.

It currently has around 22,000 staff on furlough.

Imminent Frankie & Benny’s closures were already announced by TRG in February, with the company saying it planned to shut up to 90 restaurant sites by the end of next year.

The news spells potential trouble for Norfolk, as the Restaurant Group has three Frankie & Benny’s sites in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn.


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