Angus Steakhouse, the chain of restaurants beloved of London tourists, is asking its landlords for help as Covid lockdown closures threaten its future.
The company, part of the Gateshead-based leisure group Noble Organisation, has asked restructuring experts from KPMG to negotiate rent concessions as the closure of its restaurants puts its finances under severe pressure.
The kitsch brand, famous for its rib-eye and sirloin steaks, was fashionable in the 70s and 80s but more recently has been considered a novelty aimed at tourists. Although a much smaller chain than in its heyday, it operates five sites in visitor hotspots, such as Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square in the capital.
KPMG had written to its landlords requesting a rent holiday until lockdown trading restrictions come to an end. While some have agreed to the plan, without unanimous support the company risks running out of money, according to the Daily Telegraph, which first reported the story.
Landlords were being asked to accept the payment of rent on a daily rate rather than quarterly once its restaurants had reopened, the report said.
Even before the pandemic hammered the hospitality industry, British consumers had turned their back on the chain’s steak dinners, amid an explosion of choice as new brands ranging from Jamie’s Italian to the burger chain Byron took off (even if they too would eventually struggle and in the case of Jamie’s Italian’s all but shut down).
The most recent set of accounts show Angus Steakhouse making an operating profit of just £373,000 in 2018, down from £1.7m a year earlier. Sales were down 10% at £32m.
The lockdowns and other trading restrictions have been a major blow to the restaurant trade but for Angus Steakhouse, with its reliance on crowds of tourists, the pain is likely to have been even more acute.
KPMG declined to comment and Noble Organisation could not be reached for comment.