Healthy fast food chain Leon is the latest big-name restaurant operator to draw up plans for a CVA, according to Sky News.
The broadcaster said the group is looking at the mechanism to “salvage its future” and said it would likely involve seeking permanent rent cuts from landlords.
Leon is understood to be working with advisers on its plans, which Sky described as “at an early stage”.
The implications for jobs and restaurant closures currently remain unclear.
Leon was founded in 2004 by Henry Dimbleby, John Vincent and chef Allegra McEvedy, and since then it has expanded to more than 75 sites and launched ventures in Europe and the US.
A large chunk of its estate is based in commuter locations and transport hubs, which have been among the worst hit by coronavirus restrictions.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, CVAs have become favoured by a number of leading chains in a bid to bring down costs as trading levels have slumped. YO! Sushi, Pizza Express and Pizza Hut have all gone down that route this year.
One source told Sky that Leon’s need to explore a CVA underlined how deep the industry crisis had become.
“If a company as good as that needs a CVA, it shows how badly the industry has been affected,” the insider said.
Leon has not commented on the report.