Closures could be on the menu for casual dining chains Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner as the owner of both brands kicks off a review into the business.
Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), the dining arm of “Chicken King” Ranjit Singh Boparan’s business empire, is understood to have drafted in advisers at KPMG to explore a range of options.
Although the process is at an early stage, options are thought to include site disposals or even a potential sale of the Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner brands.
There are currently 44 Giraffe locations in the UK and 24 Ed’s Easy Diner branches.
BRG owns a number of other household names, including fish and chip restaurant Harry Ramsden and the upmarket Cinnamon Collection.
It is also the master franchisee for US brand Slim Chickens, which first opened in the UK last year.
However, the review is understood to be limited to Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner.
A spokesman for the company said: “BRG operates a portfolio of restaurant brands most of which are trading well despite some of the most difficult trading conditions seen in the UK for some time.
“Whilst we have some star brands, we have one or two that are performing less well. We are therefore looking at a number of options and have hired KPMG to advise.”
KPMG declined to comment.
BRG acquired Giraffe from Tesco in 2016, and later combined it with Ed’s Easy Diner, which it had bought in a pre-pack administration that same year.
The two brands form a combined entity, which in the most recently available accounts had annual turnover of £67.1 million.
In the same period, underlying losses came to £1.6 million.
Last year several casual dining brands overhauled their businesses, with some closing sites, amid rising costs and tougher competition in the sector.
Prezzo, Jamie’s Italian, Byron, Carluccio’s, Gaucho and Gourmet Burger Kitchen all shut restaurants.