Italian restaurant brand Vapiano has urgently requested financial state aid from the German government in order to avert insolvency following COVID-19 operating restrictions.
The German-owned group, which blames the coronavirus crisis for the recent decline in sales and profit, has reported itself insolvent and is urgently seeking government assistance to avoid formally filing for insolvency.
Vapiano has already been forced to close almost all of its 230 restaurants worldwide due to coronavirus restrictions and all 55 restaurants operated by Vapiano SE in Germany have been closed indefinitely, a move which has affected 3,800 employees in that country alone.
In a recent statement Vanessa Hall, CEO of Vapiano SE, said: "As of today, it is clear that Vapiano will not be able to survive without immediate state support and has to file for insolvency, which would result in the loss of 10,000 jobs worldwide".
Under German insolvency law, the restaurant chain's management board has three weeks after filing a request to secure funds in the hope of averting full insolvency.
Launched in 2002, casual dining brand Vapiano has become known for its innovative concept and fresh authentic ingredients including freshly-made pasta that is cooked to order.
In February 2018 the chain, which operates 235 restaurants in 33 countries across five continents, announced plans to double its London presence to six sites, in Centre Point, in Tottenham Court Road, and venues in Canary Wharf and Tower Bridge. The group also has restaurants in Edinburgh and Manchester and none of the UK sites are franchised.
A spokesperson for the company told The Caterer that Vapiano is currently not available for comment as to how the UK branches will be affected.