Steak restaurant chain latest to fall foul of harsh trading conditions

Steakhouse Cau in trouble
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Steak restaurant chain Cau is the latest business to fall foul of the unforgiving trading conditions on the high street.

According to reports the Argentine restaurant group Gaucho is considering closing its 22 Cau steakhouses with the loss of 700 jobs as part of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

The chain has branches in Liverpool city centre, MediaCity in Salford and in upmarket Didsbury and Wilmslow.

Advisory firm KPMG has been called in to look at various option for the future of the brand which was launched in 2010.

Cau, along with many of its competitors, has seen a sharp fall in sales in the last 12 months.

The owners also run nearly 20 Gaucho-branded restaurants which are performing in line with expectations and will not be affected by the closures.

A spokesperson for Gaucho said: “As part of a comprehensive strategic review, the group’s new management team, with the support of its shareholders, is at the early stages of exploring a number of financial restructuring options.

“No decisions have yet been made.”

Private equity firm Equistone bought the Gaucho group in January 2016 having backed a management buyout in 2005.

At the time the business was valued at £69m and employed 1,380 staff.

Other restaurant groups which have struggled as a result of the tough trading conditions include Byron, Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurants and Prezzo. All three have announced potential closures.

Prezzo said it will shut 94 branches and axe 1,000 jobs while 12 of 37 Jamie’s Italian restaurants are to close. Byron is considering closing 20 of its 67 restuarants.

On the high street New Look, Carpetright and Poundworld are all looking at closing stores.

House of Fraser is in the process of a re-organisation which is expected to lead to the closure of 20 stores.

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