Falkirk restaurant escapes the axe

The future of a popular Falkirk restaurant appears to be safe.

By Jill Buchanan
Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 3:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 3:33 pm

Several Frankie & Benny's outlets are to remain closed permanently after lockdown, as certain sites are deemed "no longer viable to trade” due to the pandemic.

However, it appears that the branch in the town’s Central Retail Park is one of 18 in Scotland being saved.

Around 125 sites are due to be axed by Frankie & Benny’s owner The Restaurant Group (TRG), which is one of the biggest restaurant operators in Britain and also owns the popular chains Chiquito and Wagamama.

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Frankie & Benny's in Falkirk's Central Retail Park

In February this year, TRG announced plans for the closure of up to 90 Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito branches by the end of 2021, with the intention of converting 12 of these sites into Wagamama outlets.

TRG bosses sent an email on Wednesday, June 3 to staff in the group’s Leisure Division, stating that “a large number” of sites “will remain closed permanently".

The email blamed the ongoing pandemic for creating financial issues. It said: "The Covid-19 crisis has significantly impacted our ability to trade profitably, so we've taken the tough decision to close these restaurants now."

Due to the pandemic TRG had to place roughly 22,000 of its staff on the government’s furlough scheme, however many will now face redundancy.

Addressing the future of staff jobs, the email said: "Unfortunately, unless there are any suitable alternative roles identified, it's likely your role will be made redundant."

No date for the reopening of the Falkirk branch has yet been given. However, restaurants in Scotland can reopen for indoor trade from July 15 providing safety measures are in place.

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