Frankie & Benny’s has announced it will be closing 125 of its restaurants in the UK, but has renegotiated rent fees on all the other branches.
The restaurant chain that we’ve all had a birthday party at will, unfortunately, be closing many of its doors immediately, according to the owner of the company.
The Restaurant Group, which manages the brand, said 125 restaurants will be permanently closed but the remaining 85 have managed to renegotiate rent fees.
The news comes one week after the firm told hundreds of workers that many sites are ‘no longer viable to trade and will remain closed permanently’.
Andy Hornby, the chief executive, said: “The issues facing our sector are well documented and we have already taken decisive action to improve our liquidity, reduce our cost base and downsize our operations.
“The proposed CVA will deliver an appropriately-sized estate for our Leisure business to ensure we are well positioned despite the very challenging market conditions facing the casual dining sector.
“I would like to wholeheartedly thank all of my TRG colleagues for their continued understanding and extraordinary commitment during this unprecedented period.”
The changes will have no impact on the group’s Wagamama, Airport Concessions and Pub operations.
Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation (BPF), added: “These situations are never easy, particularly now for the retail and hospitality businesses on our high streets at the sharp end of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Property owners, however, need to take into consideration the impact on their investors, including the millions of people whose savings and pensions are invested in commercial property, as they vote on any CVA proposal.
“The Restaurant Group and Alix Partners engaged with the BPF before launching this CVA proposal.
“This has provided us an opportunity to improve understanding of property owners’ interests and concerns, but ultimately it will be for individual property owners to decide how they will vote on the CVA.”
The company also owns Wagamama and Garfunkel’s and is one of the largest operators in Britain. It currently has 22,000 staff on furlough.
Happy Valley actress Sarah Lancashire wins performance of the year award
Happy Valley star Sarah Lancashire won the Rose d‘Or Award for her portrayal of Catherine Cawood in the BBC drama.
The Rose d’Or Awards is a prestigious ceremony celebrating international excellence in entertainment programming. The 62nd event was held in London and hosted by comedian and writer David Baddiel.
Collecting her performance of the year award, Lancashire said: “This is thrilling, [I want to] thank those who are responsible for bringing this amazing series to screen.”
Happy Valley is an award-winning British crime drama set in the Calder Valley area of West Yorkshire, written by Sally Wainwright.
The series, which aired on BBC One, follows Lancashire in the role of no-nonsense copper Sergeant Catherine Cawood who comes up against James Norton’s character; evil criminal Tommy Lee Royce – who Sergeant Cawood holds responsible for her daughter’s suicide.
The gripping series concluded earlier this year and has been receiving a raft of nods for performances, as well as for the show itself, ever since.
The BBC also scooped best documentary for The Man Who Played With Fire while ITV’s The 1% Club, hosted by comedian Lee Mack, picked up the award for studio entertainment.
British series A Whole Lifetime With Jamie Demetriou also took home the best comedy entertainment award on the night.
In his acceptance speech, Demetriou said: “What a lovely looking award this is. It needs to be said, David’s opening monologue is honestly one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard.”
Lancashire, Dayan and Edebiri join previous recipients of Rose d’Or special awards, including Sir David Attenborough, Brian Cox, Ricky Gervais, Joanna Lumley, James Corden, John Cleese and the late Dame Angela Lansbury.
The Rose d’Or Awards has defined the gold standard for excellence and achievement in International TV and Audio programme making since 1961.
Mum opens accessible chippy so autistic son ‘has a job for life’
She opened the chippy after a stranger made a comment about her son online
A mum from Lancashire has opened up a chippy so that her autistic son ‘has a job for life’, after a stranger’s comment online.
Gillian Jervis opened Oliver’s Chippy in Warton, near Blackpool, after a stranger’s comments on a forum online – calling her son Oliver ‘a burden on the state’ – prompted her to prove them wrong.
About the comment, Gillian told ITV News: “I sometimes think I dreamt the comment and that I made it all up, because why would you say something like that?
“Have I read it wrong? I went through all of those emotions – it knocked me sideways.”
The mum-of-four decided to start a business in her son’s name and opened Oliver’s Chippy in 2021 – where Gillian is already training the 12-year-old so that he can take over when he grows up.
On why she chose to open a chip shop business for Oliver she said: “It gives him his structure, it’s a bit like school; his daily routine that he has to have.
“What you end up doing everyday – prepping the food, serving the food, making up the food, stocking the fridges… he’ll learn all that before he starts at sixteen.”
Oliver’s autism means he has some communication difficulties though he is able to express himself in other ways.
The chippy is built with facilities to help people with communication and accessibility issues by using visual screens on the tills instead of words and phrases.
As Gillian explains: “You’ve got people with a stutter, so I’ve looked at it this way. Before people start to speak, they look at pictures don’t they?
“It’s better to see a picture of what you want, it gives you the confidence to come into my shop and order what you want without saying it.”
Not only do these images help Oliver, they also help customers who may communicate better with visual aids. Not only this, the chippy also offers services to help make it easier for all neurodivergent people to place their orders.
Gillian said: “We do have a disability point access, we do have a ramp, we do have a visual menu.
“If you came in and you want your order all separate and you said ‘jigsaw’ we know that it means everything’s separate.” The chippy can make sure different food isn’t touching others by offering cartons with separated sections.
Since opening, the chip shop has fed more than 1,300 children and supported other families across the Fylde Coast. This includes giving away a family holiday, an iPad, air fryer and over 100 competition meals.
She continued: “We had the cost of living crisis, fuel shortages, the after effects of Covid and people not working as they were, with people losing their jobs due to Covid as well.
“So I just said to Arran, ‘shall we feed the kids for free?’ He said ‘yes – but how are we going to do it?’ I said ‘I don’t know, but we’ll find a way of doing it’.”
Opening in 2021 during the pandemic, the first Easter holidays saw the chip shop take a financial hit as it gave out free meals for children in the area.
But during the summer holidays later that same year, the business was supported by Bryning with Warton Parish Council as a Go Fund Me was started to raise the funds.
Elderly woman, 82, dies after being hit by vehicle on main road
An 82-year-old woman has sadly died after being hit by a vehicle on a main road in Tameside yesterday.
The elderly woman was critically injured in the collision which happened on Manchester Road, in Audenshaw, at around 5.55pm on Monday, November 20th.
Emergency services rushed to the scene, close to the Snipe Retail Park, and an ambulance took her to hospital.
The driver of the vehicle, a 31-year-old woman, remained at the scene and has continued to assist police with enquiries.
Greater Manchester Police have confirmed the woman has now died from her injuries and are appealing for witnesses of the collision to come forward to help them with their investigations.
Confirming the tragic update in a statement, the force said: “At around 5.55pm on Monday November 20th, Greater Manchester Police were called to reports of a road traffic collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian on Manchester Road, Audenshaw.
“An 82-year-old woman who was taken to hospital in a serious condition has since sadly died from her injuries.
“The driver of the vehicle, a 31-year-old woman, remained at the scene and is continuing to assist police with enquiries.
“Police would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the collision – and are continuing to appeal for anyone with relevant mobile, dashcam or CCTV footage to please come forward.”
Members of the public can submit information and footage by calling 0161 856 4741 quoting log 2797 of 20/11/23. You can also report information online using the LiveChat function on the website: www.gmp.police.uk.