The Boparan Restaurant Group confirms roughly a third of Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner establishments will close
Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner serve up exotic and American dishes and are regular sights on our high streets. However, you’ll be seeing less them of them as it has been confirmed that the plans to close 27 of their chains, which was reported earlier in March, will now go ahead.
The Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) will close down almost a third of its Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner restaurants as part of a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). In total, 21 Giraffe restaurants will shut down while six Ed’s Easy Diners will close, reported Verdict Food Service. The deal, which will also see 13 sites receive rent reductions, was approved by over 75% CVA creditors, the BBC reported. BRG’s 17 franchised eateries will reportedly remain unaffected by the CVA.
Will Wright, restructuring partner at KPMG and joint supervisor of the CVA, told the BBC: "This is a critical step forward for the business, allowing [Giraffe] to complete its financial restructuring plan and embark on a comprehensive operational transformation programme."
In 2016, BRG bought Giraffe from Tesco for nearly £13m and combined the franchise with Ed’s Easy Diner, which they bought for £10m after it went into administration. Giraffe then expanded internationally in 2018, opening franchises in Spain which joined franchises in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Despite this success, Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner franchises have been underperforming in the UK since 2016, hence the closures.
Speaking with Independent back in early March when the closures were first announced, Tom Crowley, chief executive of BRG, argued the CVA was the only way to protect the brand. Speaking about what caused the closures, he added: “The combination of increasing costs and oversupply of restaurants in the sector and a softening of consumer demand, have all contributed to the challenges both these brands face.”
Indeed, Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner aren’t the only chains affected. Brands like Byron Burger, Carluccio’s, Prezzo and Jamie’s Italian have all felt the worsening conditions, not to mention a slew of other non-food high street brands having to close shop entirely or partly over the past couple of years.
It’s seemingly not a great time for the UK high street.