Norwich restaurant could close as chain falls into administration

Chiquito restaurant at the Riverside leisure quarter in Norwich may close. Picture: Archant

Chiquito restaurant at the Riverside leisure quarter in Norwich may close. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Norwich’s Chiquito may have closed its doors for the last time after its owner said the majority of restaurants in the Tex-Mex chain have shut permanently.

A total of 60 of the 80 Chiquito sites will close. The Restaurant Group, which owns Chiquito, has put the chain into administration, as it struggles to cope with the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak on the business.

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Around 1,500 jobs are likely to be affected and the move comes less than a week after the company said sales plummeted 12.5% over two weeks.

The Restaurant Group, which also owns Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s, has a Chiquito site in Norwich’s Riverside Retail Park, and another across the Suffolk border in Ipswich.

A spokesman said: “Covid-19 has had an immediate and significant impact on trading across the Group.

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“We have conducted a review of the performance of our business divisions, with a particular focus on the expected future cash generation profile of each of our business units.”

He added that both groups are expected to hit losses this year, “as a result, the Group has taken the very difficult decision to appoint administrators for Food & Fuel Limited and filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator for Chiquito Limited.

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“The decisions have been incredibly difficult and we recognise the significant impact on all of our colleagues that are affected. We thank them for their hard work and commitment during these very testing times.”

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