Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Ego closes two sites in Leeds and Manchester

07 January 2011 by
Ego closes two sites in Leeds and Manchester

Worsening trading conditions in Leeds and Manchester have prompted Ego Restaurants to close its businesses in each city.

Ego stopped trading at two of its ten locations - in Albert Square, Manchester and King Street, Leeds - between Christmas and the New Year.

The move came following a refinancing in September, which saw former PizzaExpress chairman Luke Johnson acquire a majority stake in the casual-dining firm alongside chairman James Horler.

Horler told Caterersearch.com that although he and Johnson were keen to grow Ego into a much larger multi-brand business the two restaurants, which opened around 18 months ago and were still making a loss, were proving to be a distraction.

"Both sites had not been open that long and although they were growing revenues we made the painful short-term decision to surrender the leases in two cities that I think may have some issues coming up."

"The North West and North Yorkshire are going to be two areas hardest hit by the cuts in the public sector. We want to focus on London and the South East and the reality is that as and when we get bigger, there won't be that opportunity to surrender the leases," he added.

"There is no intention to do anything other than close these two, which is why we did them simultaneously. We've got eight restaurants now, all of which contribute profits on a unit-by-unit basis and that allows us to get on and be focused on growing the business and being acquisitive rather than having two sites that were not washing their faces."

Ego's strategy will now focus on identifying other businesses to merge with, acquire or partner, so that they can make use of the management experience Ego already has within the business.

Horler previously built up Frankie & Benny's to 65 restaurants between 1995 and 2001, and then acquired the La Tasca brand, growing it to 74 units and selling it to R20 in early 2007.

Luke Johnson acquires majority stake in Ego Group >>

Ego restaurant group to open five new sites >>

Man who built La Tasca back with new Ego project >>

By Neil Gerrard

E-mail your comments to Neil Gerrard here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk

Caterersearch.com jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs

[Newsletters For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail newsletters.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

close

Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking