British-based restaurant chain Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) has entered administration, South African owner Famous Brands said on Wednesday, becoming the latest victim of brutal trading conditions in the face of Covid-19.
Administrators have been appointed and have assumed control of GBK and its UK subsidiaries, Famous Brands said in a statement, adding that options could include a sale of the business and its assets.
Shares in Famous Brands were down 2.5% at 1154 GMT.
Famous Brands bought GBK in 2016 but its contribution to group profitability has taken longer than the company had expected, hampered by pressure on consumer spending as well as high property rates, increased input costs and a highly competitive restaurant market.
The COVID-19 pandemic has proved a challenge too far for the burger chain with 67 restaurants across the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Famous Brands said in April that it would not provide further financial support for GBK because of uncertainty over when restaurants would reopen after the UK coronavirus lockdown imposed the previous month.
GBK reopened 37 of its 62 UK stores for full service by Aug. 13 and one of its five stores in Ireland.
Its UK sales for the 26 weeks to Aug. 27 were down a little more than 66% in sterling terms, Famous Brands said in a September trading statement.