Tootsies folds after Clapham House hires administrators

TOOTSIES, the restaurant chain, yesterday fell casualty to the credit crunch after its parent Clapham House called the administrators in.<br /><br />Clapham House said it had put Tootsies into administration because &ldquo;there was little prospect of the Tootsies business as a whole generating a profit in the near future&rdquo;.<br /><br />The group said it was acting to &ldquo;protect the company&rsquo;s profitable Gourmet Burger Kitchen and The Real Greek businesses as well as its shareholders and the majority of its staff&rdquo;.<br /><br />Administrator BDO Stoy Hayward said that it was in the process of selling 11 of the 21 units currently operated by Tootsies for &pound;25m to Giraffe, the family-friendly restaurant chain backed by Luke Johnson and private equity house 3i. <br /><br />David Page, chairman of Clapham House, said: &ldquo;We have taken the steps described in this announcement with great regret, having spent considerable time researching alternative strategic options for Tootsies.&rdquo;<br /><br />Tootsies was a pioneer in the burger restaurant space when it opened in 1971 but has recently struggled against upmarket rivals, including, ironically, Clapham House&rsquo;s own Gourmet Burger Kitchen.