Administration looms for gourmet restaurant chain Square Pie

Tue, 06 Feb 2018

Square Pie, a restaurant chain that serves gourmet pies and mashed potatoes to customers around the UK, has announced that it will close five of its retail locations after entering administration earlier this week.

The company released a statement announcing the news which blamed a “perfect storm” of poor trading conditions, including fewer customers and rising rents, food and staffing costs, for the business’s failure.

The company maintains four sites in London and one in Birmingham, all of which have been closed immediately after administrators at KPMG failed to find a buyer for the restaurant business.

Square Pie was incorporated by founder Martin Dewey in 2001 and, by 2015, had grown to encompass seven sites and had an annual turnover of £4 million.

In March 2017 the restaurant group put feelers out for extra equity investment to help fund the development of a new brand, as part of a larger effort to halt sliding profits. Investors only raised £100,000 of its £1 million target, however.

Square Pie’s directors then loaned the company a significant sum of money the following summer, allowing the business to launch a new concept store, Square & Co, which featured an expanded menu of street food including hot buns and grilled meats with salad and coleslaws. The move failed to save the company thanks to increased competition on the high street.

Dewey said he and his colleagues were “desperate to avoid” the company failing despite hopes as recent as last week that jobs and stores could still be saved.

He added: “Unfortunately the backing didn’t materialise in the current leisure climate.”

“Together with my colleagues, we worked tirelessly for over 15 years to create a fantastic brand, and I am devastated that we couldn’t make the restaurants work in the current economy. Whilst the wholesale side of the business remained viable, in the end we ran out of money to put into the business to keep the outlets.”

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