A third of the UK's top 100 restaurant groups are making a loss, an increase of 75% since last year.
Research by national accountancy group UHY Hacker Young has revealed that 35 of the top 100 groups are loss-making, up from 20 last year.
Oversaturation in the market and rising costs and have been blamed for the increase, which comes after Prezzo, Byron and Jamie's Italian launched Company Voluntary Agreements, scaling back their sites.
Peter Kubik, partner at UHY Hacker Young, said: "More than a third of the biggest companies in the restaurant sector are losing money, and there is little respite on the horizon.
"Pressures on the restaurant sector have been building for years, and the last year has pushed a number of major groups to breaking point.
"With Brexit hanging over consumers like a dark cloud, restaurants can't expect a bailout from a surge in discretionary spending.
"Consumers only have a finite amount of spending power when it comes to eating out, and the oversaturation of the market means that groups that fall foul of changing trends can very easily fail.
"The government has ratcheted up costs with a series of above-inflation rises in the minimum wage, and we are just weeks away from another 4.4% rise in April. That will be tough for a lot of restaurants to absorb."
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