RESTAURANT chains Carluccio’s and Byron are struggling to survive the virus crisis.
Both have hired insolvency advisers to prepare for permanent closures or go out of business.
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Italian Carluccio’s has about 100 branches employing 2,000 people while Byron has more than 50 burger joints.
Even before the virus, closures in the sector were at a five-year high, accountant UHY Hacker Young said yesterday.
A total of 1,452 UK restaurants and 526 pubs went under in 2019.
The firm called on the Government to offer rescue packages and loans to help diners and pubs stay afloat post-lockdown.
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“The Government has already done a lot by suspending business rates and VAT payments and offering wage subsidies,” said partner Peter Kubik.
"However, their next step should be ensuring the health of the long list of businesses that banks still won’t lend to even under the new scheme.
“Both the pub and restaurant industry feel they need more specific assistance.”