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Frankie & Benny’s Restaurant Sites Set for the Northern Ireland Property Market after Closure of Four Branches

26th Sep 2016

A number of restaurant property sites will be released onto the property market after the owner of the ever famous Frankie & Benny’s Italian diner, revealed it was closing some of its Northern Ireland branches.

The Project Tail portfolio includes a number of restaurants at retail parks and shopping centres across NI.

The various restaurant sites which are soon to become available will be marketed and managed by the well known commercial property firm Savills.

It will include 4 Frankie & Benny restaurants which are currently located in Ballymena, Bangor, Coleraine and Londonderry.

Other restaurants which are based in Northern Ireland, including Tex-Mex & Chiquito at Victoria Square will also be included in the list of restaurants which will be put up for sale on the property market.

The decision to close these four sights stemmed after the parent company of Frankie & Benny’s, The Restaurant Group, announced it was closing a total of 33 of its UK diner sites as a consequence of it’s pre-tax loss of £22.5m for the first six months of 2016.

The parent group currently has a total of seven eateries in Northern Ireland.

Paul Wilson of Savills said: "This is an extremely rare opportunity to acquire a portfolio of restaurant units, ranging from approximately 3,600 sq ft to 6,750 sq ft at some of the most prominent retail destinations across Northern Ireland.

"Each location has a strong retail and/or leisure offering and a high calibre of neighbouring A3 occupiers, making it an ideal location for a food and beverage operator to either acquire multiple sites to provide a critical mass or as individual outlets."

Chiquito, which is located on the second floor of Victoria Square Shopping Centre in Belfast, sits proudly amongst other well-known eateries including Cosmo, Five Guys, Frankie & Benny’s & Nando’s.

One of the four Frankie & Benny sites to close include the Ballymena branch situated at the IMC Cinema Complex. The third branch to close is located in Bangor, at Bloomfield Shopping Centre, with the Coleraine site is based at the Riverside Retail Park.

The final and forth branch to close its doors is based in Londonderry at the Crescent Link Retail Park.

The Restaurant Group announced in August that it would be cutting 80 – 100 jobs in NI as a result of these closures.

A spokesman for the business commented: "The company expects few, if any redundancies. In total in Northern Ireland, 80-100 people will be affected."

The parent company explained the sites were ‘under-performing’ and said that the closures were part of their ‘strategic review’ into the entire company.

The business announced its pre-tax losses of £22.5m for the first half of 2016 as it took a dramatic hit from a £51.9m charge which has been linked to the store closures.

The store closures through the UK will affect up to 1000 jobs, however it is though that the company will re-deploy the vast majority of its staff to other outlets.

The sales for the company have decreased by 3.9% which influenced the groups explanation to flag the situation as a ‘challenging trading period.’ 

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