Upscale burger chain owner Byron has called out managers for the second time in less than three years with nearly half of the chain’s 21 locations closing immediately with more than 200 job losses.
Officials at Famously Proper, which also owns the Mother Clucker takeaway brand, said 12 branches have been saved and 365 jobs saved under a previously agreed rescue deal with Tristar Foods. Both companies have the same owner, the private equity firm Calveton.
However, nine sites, including those in Leeds, Manchester, Milton Keynes and the Bluewater Shopping Center in Kent, are set to close immediately with 218 jobs lost.
Claire Winder and Chris Paul, joint directors from Interpath Advisory who were hired Friday, said Famously Proper faced “significant challenges trading, driven by rising costs, particularly food and utilities, along with a decline in customer spending as a result of the current cost-of-living crisis.”
“Like many other companies in the hospitality sector, Byron reported an increase in turnover after the end of the Covid-lockdown measures,” said Winder. “However, high inflation in 2022 saw costs skyrocket and led to lower customer spending, which in turn led to outflow pressures.” Big cash on business.
“We are pleased to complete this transaction which will see the Bryon name continue to circulate on high streets across the country which, importantly, has preserved a large number of jobs.”
The latest closures come after a rocky history for Byron, which entered administration in June 2020 at the height of the pandemic with about 30 locations closed.
Founded by Tom Byng in 2007, the group once had approximately 70 outlets, but closed about 20 of them in 2018 when it went through a bankruptcy process known as a corporate voluntary arrangement.
The group’s latest troubles come as the hospitality industry struggles with rising costs and slowing sales as soaring inflation hits both consumers and businesses.
Trade in pubs and restaurants has been affected by a series of railway strikes that may have cost the industry at least £1.5 billion in December alone.
Several independent operators have already been forced to close their doors in recent weeks, with D&D London supermarket chain closing four outlets, while small juice brand Crussh was bailed out of administration earlier this week.