Troubled restaurant chain Gaucho plans to embark on a series of refurbishments and a new brand direction after the business officially exited administration this morning, its new management team has promised.
Gaucho plunged into administration in July and closed its CAU sister brand amidst claims the group had run up debts of £65m.
Early last month the business was acquired by Lomo Bidco, an entity owned by Investec Bank plc and SC Lowy, in a move that safeguarded 700 jobs and paved the way for the 12-strong chain to continue trading.
Restaurateur Martin Williams – a former MD of Gaucho – has been given the task of leading the chain and overseeing an expanded management team. He will carry out the role while remaining CEO of M Restaurants, the restaurant group he established four years ago.
The firm confirmed this morning that it has successfully exited administration and would implement a new vision “immediately”.
In a statement it said that it will “build on everything about the Gaucho heritage that is loved: modern Latin American food and drink, an exciting, internationally-appealing atmosphere and experiential style of service. The management team has further plans for 2019 onwards to include refurbishments and a new brand direction.”
A new menu, launched this week, retains favourite dishes but also introduces a wider selection of Latin American style items to the offering at Gaucho.
The offering features both ‘Classic’ and ‘Nuevo’ sections, which the company said reflects its focus on embracing Gaucho’s history while honouring the innovation, modernity and style that defines the spirit of Latin America today.
Gaucho is planning a series of pop-ups with world-renowned chefs, including the Gonzalez brothers from Lima, Germán Martitegui of Tegui and Mauro Colagreco of Mirazur to kick-start the new chapter, while six key appointments have been made to strengthen its leadership team.
Mr Williams said: “Investec and SC Lowy believe Gaucho is a great business and a brand which can be taken to new heights. I am delighted to be leading this incredible journey which will re-establish the brand as the leading premium restaurant group in the UK and diners’ ‘go to’ favourite.
“The future of Gaucho will embrace the heritage of the brand and its 24 years as a UK institution and simultaneously partner with and be inspired by the most modern world-class innovators of food and drink who are taking both Latin America and the world by storm.”
New owners Investec and SC Lowy issued a statement saying they believe they have the best management team in place to emerge from the challenges faced over recent months.
“We are delighted that Gaucho has been able to exit from this troubled period and through our support the survival of the business has been ensured. We know the brand and business well and have utmost confidence that there is a bright future ahead. We are extremely pleased to have brought Martin on board and are fully committed to support the vision for the business, including investment in restaurants and the brand. This is an exciting time for Gaucho and we look forward to the Gaucho proposition leading re-engagement with our customers.”