Hotel entrepreneur agrees pre-pack deal for Manchester restaurant

Vapiano in Manchester's Corn Exchange

A hotel entrepreneur has taken over the Manchester site of Vapiano as part of a pre-pack administration for the restaurant chain.

Naveen Handa, a director of Newcastle-based Cairn Hotel Group, has agreed a deal for the Corn Exchange site and has ambitions to develop a UK-wide franchise.

Pizza and pasta restaurant chain Vapiano had followed its German parent company into administration.

Allan Graham and Matthew Ingram of Duff & Phelps were appointed as administrators and agreed two deals as part of a pre-pack arrangement.

It saved four of the seven sites and 209 jobs.

Allan Graham said: “We are delighted that we have been able to secure the future of this High Street favourite in what are the most extraordinary times for the leisure and hospitality sector.”

Former Vapiano chairman Mario C Bauer had agreed a separate 15m euro (£13.4m) deal for 30 sites in Germany.

His UK vehicle, LOVE & Food Restaurant, has now acquired three London sites and agreed a franchise deal with Handa.

Handa will operate the Manchester restaurant and the administrators said he is “looking to open further sites across the UK”.

Cairn Hotel Group operates 33 hotels and 28 bars and restaurants, predominantly in the North East and Scotland but also including the Gardens Hotel in Manchester city centre.

Vapiano’s UK country director Craig Goslin and the existing Vapiano UK management team will remain in place to support the corporate restaurants and franchise network and drive future growth in the UK.

Goslin said: “Whilst sadly not all of our people will be continuing the journey with us, I am grateful, particularly during these unprecedented times, that we’ve been able to secure the future of Vapiano UK and many of our people.”