At the NTI newsroom we were just about to (pre)-pack up after the end of another day of heavy news when one of my colleagues, who is shielding in the Ladies, shouted what I thought was, 'Buy one a burger?' I immediately thought of bacon and American mustard and was about to put in my order for a sourdough bun with two gherkins, and onion rings on the side when she corrected me, 'No, you numpty. BYRON Burger.'
Hang on, I thought, wasn't it just 2018 when the restaurant group agreed a rescue plan and restructuring led by KPMG and investment house Three Hills Capital Partners became the biggest shareholder? We like Byron Hamburgers at NTI, they claim to 'Famously Do Things Right' and they do, across 52 restaurants in the UK and more than 1200 staff. However, KPMG are lining up their order and are hopeful of selling the business as a going concern, with three potential buyers who could buy the business, or part of it, in a pre-pack. A Notice to Appoint Administrators has now been filed to protect the company whilst those deals are hammered out.
A sauce close to the salt and pepper (we couldn't resist it ...) said, "an investor could buy the brand and parts of the business, but reduce the size of the operation, meaning job losses and restaurant closures. Discussions are currently taking place with creditors about debts."
The company is aiming for a phased re-opening from mid-July, but it will probably be a smaller company. I have decided I cannot wait and am off home for my tea. We will be back tomorrow with the latest doom and gloom on the high street.