Hemel Hempstead's Bella Italia on the brink of administration

Cafe Rouge is also on the brink and 6,000 jobs are at risk

Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 2:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 2:10 pm

Restaurants chains Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge are both on the verge of collapse, with 6,000 jobs at risk.

Casual Dining Group, which owns both chains, has recently filed a notice to appoint administrators at the High Court.

Bella Italia has a restaurant at Jarman Fields Leisure Centre in Hemel Hempstead.

Bella Italia in Hemel Hempstead (C) Google Maps

The company has said that the move would give it 10 days' breathing space in order to consider "all options" for restructuring.

Casual Dining Group said on Monday, May 18, that it is working with advisers from corporate finance firm, AlixPartners, over a potential restructuring programme.

Casual Dining Group also own the Las Iguanas restaurant chain, and employs about 6,000 people in total.

The group's 250 restaurants have remained closed for the past two months, even though they are permitted to operate a takeaway service.

A Casual Dining Group spokesperson said, "As is widely acknowledged, this is an unprecedented situation for our industry and, like many other companies across the UK, the directors of Casual Dining Group are working closely with our advisers as we consider our next steps.

"These notifications are a prudent measure in light of the company's position and the wider situation."

Restaurants as a whole have been hit hard after shutting their doors as part of the UK’s lockdown in March.

Chains including Carluccio's and Byron have hired insolvency advisers in order to prepare for permanent closures, or to go out of business.

The government’s plans to reopen cafes, pubs and restaurants have been outlined for July, provided that infections and the reproduction rate of coronavirus, known as the R value, remain low. However, this currently applies to England only.