Handmade Burger Co. forced to close 19 of 20 restaurants after major collapse

The collapse of the burger chain has meant 283 people will lose their jobs

Updated on 27 January 2020 • Written By Maha Khan

Handmade Burger Co. forced to close 19 of 20 restaurants after major collapse

High street restaurant chain Handmade Burger Co. has been forced to close all but one of its restaurants after a sudden collapse.

Nineteen out of the Handmade Burger Co.'s 20 restaurants have been ordered to close all around the UK, with immediate effect, as the burger company went into administration last week. Following a rocky financial patch the Birmingham-based chain failed to secure a new buyer, as business became too unsustainable to run, with losses far exceeding profits.

It is the second time Handmade Burger Co. has landed in financial trouble after major dips in business. In 2017 the company lost nine of its restaurants, when it reached its peak of 29 locations all around the country. Even though the company was bought out of administration a couple of years ago, sales had not improved enough for the business to continue selling burgers. The food chain saw profits almost halve, which made the business unviable.

Leonard Curtis Business Rescue & Recovery were appointed joint administrators of the Handmade Burger Co., which was founded by Chris Sargeant and his brothers in 2006.

The dining sector has faced lots of volatility in recent years, as many chains have faced closures, such as Jamie’s Italian. Joint administrator of the burger company, David Griffiths spoke to the Guardian: “The casual dining market in the UK has experienced significant challenges over the last four years, largely as a result of overcapacity in the sector, which has resulted in a significant number of insolvencies.”

Issues such as reduced consumer confidence, high rents, and political uncertainty have all been major factors in the struggle to keep businesses afloat. The administrators are currently working to ensure that employees made redundant receive their owed pay. In Edinburgh, All Bar One has offered to interview all staff made redundant by the burger chain. The 19 restaurants which have closed include branches from London to Glasgow, such as Wembley, Reading, Leeds, and more with it being as of yet unclear which branch will remain open.

Need some good news to cheer you up? There’s a restaurant serving up bouquets of fish and chips for Valentine’s Day.