Written by: Keith Tully
Reviewed: Friday 24th June, 2016
The owner of the restaurant chain Red Hot World Buffet has signalled its intent to enter administration after becoming unable to pay its debts and satisfy its creditors.
Passepartout Ltd has applied to the High Court to be placed into administration, with insolvency experts having been lined up to help manage the organisation’s financial affairs and to consider possible routes forward for the business.
Red Hot World Buffet restaurants have been popular all-you-can-eat dinning locations in a number of English and Welsh towns and cities.
Outlets owned by Passepartout, which is based in Bolton, include Red Hot World Buffet restaurants in Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff, Leicester and Liverpool.
However the business has been struggling from a financial perspective in recent months and its reputation took a significant hit earlier this year when hygiene issues meant its Liverpool restaurant had to be temporarily closed down.
Expectations are that the various Red Hot World Buffet restaurants will continue trading as normal as it heads towards administration but minutes from a recent Passepartout board meeting make clear that the holding company which owns them is currently unable to pay its debts.
“A number of offers for sites have been received from trade competitors and these are currently being considered,” explained a spokesperson for the insolvency company called in to assist Passepartout’s directors.
“The group continues to trade as normal with the support of its loyal employees across the Red Hot World Buffet operations.”
“The group has an attractive portfolio of A3 restaurant sites in Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Leicester and Cardiff,” the spokesperson said.
The restaurants owned by Passepartout built their popularity on the unusually broad variety of food options on its menus and served at its buffet counters, with Italian, Indian, Mexican, Japanese, Chinese and Mongolian foods all available at the same locations.
Red Hot World Buffet’s website insists that its food is prepared “at live cooking stations by specially trained chefs that only use fresh ingredients”.
However, there were widespread reports earlier this year that its Liverpool outlet was temporarily closed down because live mice had been spotted at the premises.