YO! Sushi boss Richard Hodgson said it is simply “not viable” to persist with restaurants that don’t hit the financial numbers it requires after the chain revealed that it could shut up to 19 sites.
The company confirmed longstanding rumours that it was preparing a CVA by revealing that 19 “unsustainable” or “loss-making” sites could face closure in order to reduce costs.
YO! Sushi, which runs 59 restaurants and 10 concessions in the UK, also plans to dispose of nine sites where it no longer operates but holds a lease, through the CVA.
Around 250 jobs are thought to be at risk although the company said it will endeavour to redeploy team members where possible.
Mr Hodgson said: “Like the rest of the sector, we need to take decisive action to adapt to the lasting changes that the Covid pandemic has brought about.
“While we have already taken measures to reduce costs, rents remain an issue. In the current climate, it’s just not viable for us to keep any sites that no longer perform.
“While it’s been a very difficult decision to make and I am very sorry that it will mean losing many of our team members, a CVA has become an essential measure to secure our business for the future, and enable us to protect as many jobs as possible.”
Dishes were famously sent out on the conveyor belt for customers to choose from, but they have been reprogrammed so that they are only dispatched once orders have been placed.
Creditors will vote on the CVA proposal on 1 September.