Restaurant group goes into administration risking hundreds of jobs

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Restaurant chain The Handmade Burger Co has gone into administration, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

A team from Leonard Curtis were appointed to the Midlands-based company, which has outlets across the UK and nearly 900 staff, yesterday.

Administrators said that nine of the 29 restaurants had closed, but remaining sites were trading as normal, according to The Times.

Handmade Burger Co said it would seek approval from creditors to form a company voluntary arrangement, and if not, a sale would be pursued.

It first launched in 2006 in Birmingham by brothers Chris and Richard Sargeant, and has grown to 29 restaurants.

It received £600,000 in funding in 2015 from Finance Birmingham to fund its expansion, and refurbish several of its restaurants. Back then, Finance Birmingham said it was a “new period of growth for a company on the up”.

Among its 29 restaurants, Handmade Burger Co has three in Birmingham, including at Brindley Place and Grand Central, two in Leeds, and one each in Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester and Manchester.

In November the Birmingham-based group, which was controlled by the Sargeant family, appointed Kevin Bacon, former managing director of Frankie & Benny’s, as chairman, and it has applied to launch at other sites, including York and Durham.

The company’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter handle had been removed as of the time of publication, and no contact details were listed for the company.

The casual dining market has been hit in recent years by in influx of competitors from the likes of other burger chains including Five Guys, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Shake Shack, as well as high rents and increasing labour costs.