Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 23rd January 2020
Handmade Burger Co has fallen into administration after failing to find a sustainable financial footing in recent months.
Each of the Handmade Burger Co’s 18 outlets are set to close as a result of the company’s situation, with close to 300 jobs expected to be lost.
The company previously entered administration in 2017 but was rescued by new owners, with the associated acquisition deal resulting in the closure of nine restaurants.
However, having entered administration again, no buyers have been found this time for the Handmade Burger Co’s business.
The chain’s collapse represents the latest in a growing list of casual dining sector casualties, with several well-known high street operations closing entirely in recent years while others have survived only by entering Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) as a form of insolvency.
David Griffiths, a joint administrator appointed to Handmade Burger Co, said in a statement: “The casual dining market in the UK has experienced significant challenges over the last four years, largely as a result of overcapacity in the sector, which has resulted in a significant number of insolvencies.
“Sales at Handmade Burger Co restaurants have almost halved during this period, which has proved to be unsustainable,” he said.
“It is disappointing that circumstances have meant that a sale of the business has no been possible in this case, but our focus now should be on those employees affected by this difficult news.”
Among the most high profile of casual dining sector collapses in recent years was that of Jamie’s Italian, which saw the TV chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain fold in May 2019 with the result being the closure of 25 outlets and the loss of over 1,000 jobs.
Experts have suggested that restraints on consumer spending and the growth of services such as Uber Eats and Just Eat have helped make life more difficult for casual dining sector businesses in recent years.
In September, the accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young reported that more than 1,400 restaurants across the UK closed under financial pressures in the year to the end of June 2019, which represented a 25 per cent increase on the figure for the previous 12 months.