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Burger chain Byron appoints administrators as Restaurant Group receives CVA approval from its creditors

Deliveroo founder said the crisis continues to batter the industry, while demand for online ordering is set to rise even when restaurants will open

Just Eat Takeaway.com NV - Burger chain Byron plans administration days before restaurants can reopen

Burger chain Byron has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators while competitor The Restaurant Group PLC (LON:RTN) has received approval from its creditors regarding a potential company voluntary administration (CVA).

Byron, which employs 1,200 people across 51 restaurants, is looking for protection against creditors as it discusses with three potential buyers, according to Sky News.

READ: The Restaurant Group to close most of Frankie & Benny's as part of a financial restructuring

The board is reportedly confident to reach an agreement, and the most likely outcome would be a pre-pack administration, which is the sale of certain assets to a new owner.

The sale process has been going on since last month.

While the government has set July 4 as reopening date for restaurants in England, Byron is mulling over resuming activity in mid-July.

The Restaurant Group PLC (LON:TRG) announced last month plans to close most of the Frankie & Benny’s outlets as part of a financial restructuring.

The part of the business being put into CVA also includes Garfunkel’s, Chiquito’s, Filling Station, Joe’s Kitchen and Firejacks.

On Monday, 82% of its creditors voted in favour of the CVA, although any creditor not agreeing to this has 28 days to take the decision to court.

If it goes ahead, the firm will keep operating only in 160 of its 350 venues within the leisure division.

In 85 of these the chain will negotiate lower rents and revised lease terms.

Restaurants are “hurting”, says Deliveroo

Lockdown closures have hit hard the hospitality industry, with some companies, including Byron, struggling to access state support.

Food delivery service Deliveroo told the BBC restaurants are “hurting” amid the crisis.

"Even if restrictions are lifted soon, there's going to be a long period of socially-distanced dining," founder Will Shu said.

"Since we started Deliveroo, there's been this incredible adoption towards online and apps. But I think Covid-19 has brought forward this consumer behaviour by about one to three years."

He predicted that demand for online delivery is set to keep increasing despite the reopening of venues.

The app, which competes against Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER) and Just Eat Takeaway.com NV (LON:JET), is launching a table service feature on July 15, allowing customers to order their meals while sitting at a restaurant or café, to help social distancing.

Shares in The Restaurant Group advanced 5% to 60.6p on Monday afternoon.

--Adds detail, shares--

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Market: LSE
Market Cap: £308.46 m


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