THE Gaucho group, the operator of two UK steak chains, has gone into administration, with the loss of 540 jobs.
The firm, which runs the Gaucho and Cau restaurants, appointed accountany firm Deloitte as their administrators.
It said that all 22 branches of Cau would close as a result, impacting 540 members of staff.
The company has 16 Gaucho restaurants in the UK and 22 Cau outlets with 1,500 employees overall.
Joint administrator Matt Smith said: “Unfortunately the Cau brand has struggled in the oversupplied casual dining sector with rapid over-expansion, poor site selection, onerous lease arrangements and a fundamentally poor guest proposition all being factors in its underperformance.
“The Gaucho business on the other hand, which operates in the premium dining market, continues to trade well in its market segment, is profitable and has a strong underlying brand and guest loyalty.
List of Cau branches that will close down
Here are the Cau restaurants closing down near you
- Leamington Spa
- London Blackheath
- London St Katrine Docks
- London Wimbledon
- Manchester Media City
“We are taking steps to stabilise the business following our appointment and are now seeking expressions of interest in terms of a sale of the Gaucho business. ”
The Gaucho group was understood to be looking at three potential rescue deals to meet a deadline by HM Revenue & Customs.
Those who examined a potential sale deal included Hugh Osmond, the former Pizza Express backer.
But lenders have failed to secure an offer, making the company’s insolvency inevitable.
Gaucho is following the likes of Jamie’s Italian, Byron and Prezzo who have all had to enter restructuring deals because of the growing cost of rent on the high street and increases to the National Living Wage.
The Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group closed 12 of its 37 Italian restaurants to ensure the brand was in “good shape for the future”.
In January 2018, Byron Burger announced 20 of its sites were at risk of closure. And in March, Prezzo said it was closing 94 of its stores.