Thursday 23 April 2020 4:10 pm

Coronavirus: Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Ask Italian owner Azzurri appoint advisers

Casual dining chains Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) and Azzurri, the owner of Ask Italian and Zizzi, have both appointed advisers amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Restaurants have been severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown, which has resulted in an unprecedented drop in revenue. 

Read more: More than 1m hospitality jobs at risk without extra government support, industry warns

GBK has appointed Deloitte to advise on future options for the business, ITV News reported. The burger restaurant chain has been in financial difficulty for several years, and closed 17 of its sites in 2018 as part of a restructuring plan. 

Meanwhile, FTI Consulting was hired by Azzurri’s lenders a few weeks ago as the company explored the possibility of raising additional capital. 

The company reported a loss before tax of £16.3m in the 12 months to 30 June 2019.

Carluccio’s was the first major restaurant chain to collapse under the pressure of coronavirus when it went into administration earlier this month after it ran out of cash. FRP said it will use the government’s coronavirus jobs retention scheme to lay off most of Carluccio’s 2,000 employees while it assesses the company’s long-term options. 

Read more: Furloughed hospitality workers could lose ‘up to 40 per cent’ of wages

UK Hospitality warned today that the industry could lose 1m jobs if social distancing measures are extended without extra government support. 

Restaurants, bars and pubs could be among the last businesses to reopen, and are expected to be subject to social distancing rules.