Handmade Burger Co collapses with loss of 283 jobs

Restaurant chain Handmade Burger Co has collapsed, with the immediate loss of all 283 jobs.

The casual dining chain has closed its 18 restaurants across the UK after it failed to secure a last-minute rescue sale, administrators said.

The company, which is registered as The Burger Chain Limited, has fallen into administration for the second time in less than three years, having closed nine restaurants when it restructured in 2017.

Administrators at insolvency specialists Leonard Curtis said that sales have dived at the chain in recent years, making its future unsustainable.

Joint administrator David Griffiths said: “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.

“Sales at Handmade Burger Co restaurants have almost halved during this period, which has proved to be unsustainable.

“It is disappointing that circumstances have meant that a sale of the business has not been possible in this case, but our focus now should be on those employees affected by this difficult news.

“We will work hard to provide them with all necessary assistance to claim for monies which remain due to them.”

Handmade Burger Co’s demise comes after a torrid year for chains in the casual dining sector.

The most high-profile recent failure was Jamie Oliver’s restaurant empire, which saw the loss of 1,000 jobs when it collapsed in May.

Figures compiled for the PA news agency by the Centre for Retail Research revealed there were 11,280 job losses in the casual dining sector in 2019 – up 8% on the previous year.