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Owners of restaurant chains to close 91 sites nationwide - including one in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 08:34 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:45 04 July 2020

Las Iguanas in Norwich, which is one of 91 restaurants to be closed by Casual Dining Group . Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Las Iguanas in Norwich, which is one of 91 restaurants to be closed by Casual Dining Group . Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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A Norwich restaurant will close after the owners of three chains called in administrators.

Bella Italia in Red Lion Street, Norwich Pic: Dan Grimmer.Bella Italia in Red Lion Street, Norwich Pic: Dan Grimmer.

Casual Dining Group, which owns Bella Italia, Las Iguanas and Cafe Rouge, have said it is to close 91 of its 250 restaurants, which will result in the losses of 1,909 jobs.

Currently, Bella Italia has two branches in Norwich - on Red Lion Street and on Riverside - but their futures appear secure for now, as neither have been included in the 91 restaurants to close.

However, Riverside-based Mexican diner Las Iguanas is to be closed, joining Café Rouge on the list of Casual Dining Group chains to move out of the city.

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French bistro Café Rouge, which was based in Chapelfield, closed its doors in 2019.

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The company will still employ more than 4,000 workers nationwide following the cuts.

The board said that entering administration was in the best interest of stakeholders during the “extreme operating environment” it is having to trade through.

It is looking for a new owner, but said that the administration would allow it to end negotiations with landlords, a “critical step” before finding a buyer.

Chief executive James Spragg said: “After reviewing all our options with advisers, it became clear that we needed to take this action in order to protect the business and secure the best possible future for Casual Dining Group as we look to conclude a potential sale.

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“We are acutely aware of our duty to all employees and recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for them. Working alongside the administrators we will do everything we can to support them through this process with a view to preserving as much employment as we are able to.”

Administrator Clare Kennedy, from Alix Partners, said: “”We appreciate that this is an extremely difficult time for all those associated with Casual Dining Group.

“Our immediate priorities are to assist those whose employment has been affected by today’s announcement and to secure a sale for the group in order to protect jobs and provide the Group’s much-loved brands with a sustainable platform for the future.”


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