‘At least two or three more restaurant groups will collapse before the year is up’

At least two or three more restaurant groups will collapse before the curtain falls on 2018, specialist business property adviser Christie & Co has predicted.

The first half has been punctuated by high-profile operators using Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) as a means to manage underperforming sites.

Groups such as Jamie’s Italian, Prezzo, Byron and Carluccio’s have taken this route, while London-based operators, such as Barbecoa, Conran & Prescott, Hummus Brothers and, more recently, Gaucho Group have fallen into administration.

And in its half-year report on the UK restaurant scene, it warned that further turmoil was likely. “We can expect at least another two or three restaurant groups to fall before the year is out,” the company stated.

Despite the seemingly bleak picture, the company acknowledged that other operators continue to prosper.

Wagamama continues to show growth in sales and number of sites, with further expansion overseas. Nando’s reported double digit growth and continues to acquire new sites around the country, with the Nando’s name now appearing in motorway service areas.

Additionally, independents such as Mowgli, Honest Burger and Giggling Squid have continued to seek out good opportunities and many are finding success with street food concepts. Small restaurant groups outside London are reported to have expanded by nearly 20% last year.

The company added: “While larger operators exposed on the high street and retail parks will inevitably face a few years of pain as they find a balance once again, independent and smaller operators can be cautiously optimistic as deals and great new concepts come to the fore, which is good news for the sector at large.”

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