Byron expected to close more branches as it works through cost-cutting plan

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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British-backed Byron Burger Chain Open For Business
Byron faces a saturated market in addition to higher wages and business rates (Source: Getty)

Gourmet burger joint Byron has hired City advisers to work through a "cash management" plan that could include shutting underperforming branches, according to reports.

The chain, which is owned by private equity firm Hutton Collins, has brought in advisory firm KPMG in recent weeks as it works to cut costs, and KPMG is being lined up for further possible restructuring work if the company's problems worsen, the Sunday Times reported.

Like the rest of the casual dining industry, Byron has been hit with a triple-whammy of sterling-related price inflation, a rising national living wage and increasing rents and business rates.

In addition to those stresses, burger chains also face consumer fatigue as competition ramps up, and they are said to be less successful on food delivery apps like Deliveroo.

The posh burger slinger opened in 2007 with an aim to serve "proper" hamburgers, and it now operates from 70 sites across the UK. Over the summer it identified four sites to close, and sources said more could now follow.

Last year Byron made pre-tax profit of just £194,000 on revenues of more than £80m, and insiders said the firm had paid the price for expanding too quickly.

Earlier this year, the firm announced it had hammed up its management team with the addition of Nick Young, former Pizza Express boss, as chief operating officer, and at the end of 2016 the company revealed Dalton Phillips, the former boss of supermarket chain Morrisons, would be its new chairman and founder Tom Byng would leave.

A spokesperson for Byron said: "We are working with KPMG as part of our plans to grow and develop the business as we build our team and look at new growth opportunities."

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