RESTAURANT CLOSURES: What will happen to Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito in Northampton?

Frankie and Benny's, Sixfields.

Frankie and Benny's, Sixfields.

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The company behind a huge restaurant chain have confirmed which restaurants it will be closing and which will remain open.

Hundreds of jobs were put at risk last week when the Restaurant Group, which owns the Frankie & Benny’s chain, announced that it would be closing 33 under-performing sites.

The firm, which also owns Chiquito Mexican restaurant, suffered pre-tax losses of £22.5million for the first half of the year during what it describes as a ‘challenging trading period’, as well as an ‘insufficient focus on value, unsuccessful menu development and poor operation execution’.

The firm has now confirmed that Frankie and Benny’s restaurants in Northampton - one at Sixfields and the other at Riverside - will remain open.

The newly-opened Chiquito restaurant at Sixfields will also remain open, as well as nearby branches of Frankie and Benny’s in Kettering, Rugby, Coventry, Banbury, Bletchley and Bedford.

However a spokesman for the Restaurant Group did confirm that Midsummer Boulevard branch of Chiquito in Milton Keynes would be closing in October.

The spokesman stressed that the closures focused on ‘under-performing’ restaurants.

The closures across the UK will affect up to 1,000 jobs, although it is understood that the company will redeploy the vast majority of staff in other outlets.

Chairman Debbie Hewitt said: “The board has moved quickly to undertake a review of the operating strategy and we now have clarity on the issues facing our leisure brands, particularly Frankie & Benny’s.

“The brand remains relevant and popular, and we are confident that improved performance will be achieved by being more customer-focused and data-driven, and through better operational execution.”

The Restaurant Group admitted it has lost value-conscious customers at Frankie & Benny’s after “significant price increases”.

The firm pledged to “look at the pricing architecture of the menu” and “reinvigorate the value offer” in a bid to attract more families to its outlets.