Burger chain cuts jobs as coronavirus hits dining sector

Byron announces it will cut 651 jobs and close 31 restaurants as the brand and assets are transferred to a newly-formed company.

Burger chain cuts jobs as coronavirus hits dining sector Getty Images

Burger chain Byron is to cut more than 600 jobs and permanently close 31 of its restaurants.

The company has been rescued from administration but will press on with shutting more than half of its 51 sites after becoming the latest dining business to be hammered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Administrators at KPMG said the brand and certain assets have been sold to newly-formed company Calveton, in a move that will protect its 20 remaining sites and 551 employees.

Byron has two restaurants in Scotland, both in Edinburgh – on Lothian Road and the Royal Mile.

Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “In common with so many other companies across the leisure and casual dining industries, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Byron has been profound.

“After exploring a number of options to safeguard the future of the business and following a competitive sales process, this transaction ensures Byron will continue to have a presence on our high streets.”

Some 651 jobs are expected to be cut across the company.

The news comes just weeks after the owner of the Ask Italian and Zizzi pizza chains said it will not reopen around 75 of its restaurants, resulting in the loss of up to 1,200 jobs.

The dining sector has been knocked hard by the lockdown and pandemic, with a raft of restaurants having announced closures and jobs losses in recent weeks after seeing sales decimated.

Frankie and Benny’s owner The Restaurant Group put up to 3,000 jobs on the line after announcing it was going to close 125 sites, and Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge owner Casual Dining Group said it would close 91 restaurants after calling in administrators.

Pizza Express is reportedly planning to axe around 75 sites across the UK.

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