The Restaurant Group (TRG) is planning to permanently close down nearly 120 Frankie & Benny’s outlets in the UK in the wake of the economic uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 lockdown.

TRG, which owns Frankie & Benny’s and Garfunkels, operates approximately 600 outlets and employs 22,000 workers in the UK. The group also owns the Wagamama chain and some pub units.

All of its restaurant units were closed in March, following the government’s directives to contain the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

In an email sent to staff, the company said that some of its sites are no longer viable to trade and will remain closed permanently.

The company said: “The Covid-19 crisis has significantly impacted our ability to trade profitably, so we have taken the tough decision to close these restaurants now.”

The email was sent to managers in the group’s Leisure Division, which includes more than 200 Frankie & Benny’s outlets.

The reports suggest that Wagamama is not part of the division, which received the email and the vast majority of its restaurants are expected to reopen soon.

Earlier in March, TRG said that 61 of its 80 branches of its Tex-Mex dining chain Chiquito’s would remain closed permanently as it fell into administration.

The group is accelerating previous plans to shut the restaurants due to the impact of the pandemic on its business.

It has cited the Covid-19 outbreak as having had ‘an immediate and significant impact on trading’.