Stratford avoids big-name restaurant closures

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THE company behind Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia went into administration yesterday, Thursday, triggering the announcement of a string of restaurant closures.

The Casual Dining Group has a number of other brands that are not in Stratford and 91 of its restaurants across the country will not reopen.

The majority are Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia outlets but the Stratford branches of both have avoided the axe – though there was not such good news for the team at Cafe Rouge in Leamington as that is on the list of casualties. The parent company also runs the Las Iguanas chain but Leamington’s outlet has survived that part of the cull.

Bella Italia in Wood Street

Stratford’s Cafe Rouge is in Sheep Street and Bella Italia in Wood Street, in a building that has been a long-standing Italian restaurant in the town under different big-name brands.

On the decision to go into administration, James Spragg, CEO of Casual Dining Group, said: “After reviewing all our options with advisers, it became clear that we needed to take this action in order to protect the business and secure the best possible future for Casual Dining Group as we look to conclude a potential sale.

Cafe Rouge in Sheep Street

“We are acutely aware of our duty to all employees and recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for them.

“Working alongside the administrators we will do everything we can to support them through this process with a view to preserving as much employment as we are able to.”

The administrators identified 91 sites out of a total of 250 sites for immediate closure. The closures affect 1,909 restaurant-based colleagues among the group’s current staff base of 5,959.