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Struggling chain to close city restaurant; prezzo on deansgate to shut doors.

Byline: EMILY HEWARD emily.heward@men-news.co.uk @EmilyHeward

STRUGGLING Italian chain Prezzo is to close its Deansgate restaurant and its Printworks branch is at risk under restructuring plans aimed at rescuing the business.

The group is poised to close nearly a third of its 300 restaurants across the country as part of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), an insolvency process which will allow it to quit unprofitable branches and negotiate rent reductions on others.

The Deansgate branch is among the 94 sites identified as 'clearly not viable' and having 'no prospect of being restored to viability' even if rents were reduced.

The chain is to balance staffing and costs with CVA The closures could take place in as little as eight weeks, according to the terms of the CVA.

The Printworks restaurant - one of 20 identified as 'uneconomical' - could also be at risk if a rent reduction cannot be agreed. Directors are seeking a short-term reduction of 50 per cent while they renegotiate the lease terms. If no deal is struck, it could close after 12 months.

Prezzo's three other Greater Manchester sites - MEDIACITYUK, Salford Quays; Ashton Leisure Park, Ashtonunder-Lyne; and Bolton Market Place - are not currently affected.

The chain is struggling to balance increased staffing and operating costs and business rates with falling revenue and sales, according to the CVA proposal. Revenue dipped by 3.3pc year-on-year in 2017, while likefor-struggling like sales dropped by 9.1pc over the same period.

increased operating falling report Elsewhere across the country, all 33 of the company's Chimichanga Tex-Mex restaurants are set to close along with its three Mexico branches and its burger, rib and steak house Cleaver in Cobham, Surrey. It is a turbulent time for the casual dining sector, with big-name brands including Jamie's Italian and Byron Hamburgers also announcing major restructures and restaurant closures this year as part of their own CVAs.

Carluccio's has also reportedly called in advisors to assess its options. The chain, founded by the late celebrity chef Antonio Carluccio in 1999, has 102 outlets across the UK including two in Manchester city centre - at Piccadilly station and Spinningfields - and sites at the intu Trafford Centre and in Hale.

The company is understood to be working with KPMG to assess its options in what is a turbulent time for the sector, according to a Sunday Times report. A spokesman for Carluccio's said the chain currently had no plans to restructure and any reports were 'pure speculation'. KPMG declined to comment.

branches reductions could little as costs and falling revenue according proposal. dipped year-2017, over E across all 33 The chain is struggling to balance increased staffing and operating costs with falling revenues CVA report

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Prezzo at Ashton is one of five branches in Greater Manchester

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Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Date:Mar 6, 2018
Words:462
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