Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca is to close more than a third of its restaurants, after becoming the latest dining firm to be hammered by Covid-19.
The group, which was founded by former Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers and Mark Selby, said on Wednesday that it will close ten of its 28 sites.
The founders said they intend to “try and save jobs” wherever possible, in an email to staff.
Sites in London, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Chichester and Southampton have been earmarked for closure, after it saw a “significant” depletion in cash reserves over the past four months.
It said it has seen the rent, as a percentage of sales, of sites in city centre locations increase dramatically, making a number of these restaurants “untenable”.
The group said it has therefore decided to only reopen restaurants it believes will not lose money, even if sales are significantly reduced, in order “to avoid putting the entire business and every job at risk”.
Wahaca said it is considering a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructuring deal in order to facilitate its cost-saving plan.
The announcement comes after a number of dining chain rivals, such as Byron Burger and Pizza Express, have announced permanent closures in the aftermath of the lockdown.
The Wahaca restaurants which will permanently shut are:
– Bluewater, Kent
– Brixton, London
– Charlotte Street, London
– Kentish Town, London
– St Paul’s, London.