Island Poke, a London-based restaurant chain, is planning a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to tackle financial difficulties stemming from Covid-related debt.

The brand, known for its healthy poké offerings, has sought the assistance of restructuring firm Begbies Traynor to facilitate the restructuring process of the business, reported City A.M.

A CVA is a kind of insolvency process that allows companies to settle debts over a fixed time period.

An Island Poke spokesperson stated to The Caterer, “We continue to strongly believe in the business. The core is profitable but has been saddled with a large amount of Covid debt.

“The CVA proposal will strengthen the company and allow us to focus on providing fresh, healthy poké to our customers.”

Founded in 2016 by James Porter, Island Poke filled a niche in the London lunch market with its focus on healthier options. The brand has since expanded from street food markets to 16 London sites, one in Brighton, and ten international locations in France.

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City AM reported that Begbies Traynor submitted a CVA application to the High Court on Wednesday.

Island Poke’s growth was supported by White Rabbit Fund, an investment platform led by Chris Miller, former commercial director of Soho House, since 2016.

Recent filings at Companies House revealed that Island Poke Ltd received just over £1m from White Rabbit Opco Ltd in February 2023, earmarked for future site expansion.

The brand has also established a franchise arm, extending its reach to various cities in France, such as Lyon, Grenoble, and Montpellier.