Gourmet Burger Kitchen has announced the closure of its Edinburgh restaurant on George Street, along with 25 other restaurants across the UK. This comes in the aftermath of a buyout from food industry giant Ranjit Singh Boparan of Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), purchasing 35 restaurants in a pre-pack deal to save the chain from administration.
The deal follows the announcement from previous GBK owner Famous Brands, who bought the chain in 2016 for £120million, that it had been hit particularly hard by lengthy lockdowns in the pandemic – with GBK restaurants recording a 66% decline in UK system-wide sales. Despite salvaging 35 restaurants and 669 jobs from the chain’s prior 61 sites, the rescue deal with BRG will still see 362 jobs lost with the planned closure of 26 restaurants.
Boparan previously snapped up Italian chain Carluccio’s early in the pandemic after it struggled to recover from losses incurred in lockdown in a deal worth just £3.4million. The deal handled by FRP Administrators saw 30 Carluccio’s sites saved from collapse but over 40 sites closed.
The closure of 26 Gourmet Burger Kitchen restaurants is the latest in a series of casualties faced by hospitality chains, but shows signs of success for the ‘Chicken King’ Boparan - widely known as the poultry tycoon at helm of the 2 Sisters Food Group. Carluccio’s and GBK are the latest additions to the BRG empire, which already includes chains Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner.