The Restaurant Group (TRG) has filed notice to put Chiquito into administration, a move which will permanently close the majority of the 81 Tex-Mex brand's sites.
A spokesperson for TRG said: "As we announced in our update to the market on 18 March, Covid-19 has had an immediate and significant impact on trading across the group. We have conducted a review of the performance of our business divisions, with a particular focus on the expected future cash generation profile of each of our business units."
The group has forecast that both Food & Fuel – their London-based gastro-pub and café brand – and Chiquito will achieve "negative EBITDA in the financial year ending 27 December 2020" and as a result has taken the" very difficult decision" to file a notice of intention to appoint an administrator for Chiquito and appoint administrators for Food & Fuel.
The group acknowledged the "significant impact" on all colleagues who will be affected and confirmed that around 20 Chiquito concession sites in airports, which are not part of the limited company, will be unaffected.
A holding statement on Chiquito's website reads: "We are absolutely heartbroken to announce that all our restaurants will be closing tonight until further notice – including those offering home delivery."
Last week it was reported that The Restaurant Group, which also owns Wagamama and Frankie & Benny's, had predicted coronavirus would see a 25% fall in annual sales. In September last year The Restaurant Group announced it would close over 150 outlets, including Chiquito and Frankie & Benny's sites, as part of a restructure over the next six years, following its acquisition of Wagamama for £559m.