Spudulike baked potato chain collapses leaving 300 staff redundant

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com–Mon, 5th Aug 2019) London, Uk – –

There is a further casualty on the high street as 45-year old Spudulike falls out of fashion with diners and ceases trading.

Spudulike, the baked potato chain, has collapsed leaving all 298 staff redundant.

Administrators confirmed in a statement on Monday that all 37 of the Spudulike group's outlets and head office were shut on Friday after a last ditch sale of the business fell through.

It marks the latest casual dining business to fold following a torrid time for the sector which, like wider high street retail, has been battling a toxic cocktail of weaker consumer demand at a time of higher costs.

It has seen the likes of Jamie's Italian be declared insolvent, while others to find trouble and close restaurants have included Prezzo and Carluccio's.

Spudulike is understood to have been in distress for some time and had sought a controversial Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in a bid to secure rent cuts from landlords.

They opposed the plan due to the scale of the reductions being sought.

Sky News is seeking clarification on the situation facing its former employees after The Guardian reported they were owed two weeks pay.

Joint administrator Neil Bennett, from the business services firm Leonard Curtis, said: “We are very disappointed with the outcome after working for several weeks firstly preparing a CVA proposal, which was rejected by the group's creditors, and subsequently pursuing the sale of all or part of the group's business and assets with a number of prospective purchasers.

“Sadly a sale of the business and assets of the group on a going concern basis did not prove possible, following the last minute withdrawal of an offer that was close to completion.”

He added: “We are now focusing on seeking any interest in the group's remaining assets whilst managing the impact of the closures on former employees, helping them prepare and submit claims for any arrears of wages, statutory notice entitlement and redundancy pay.”

By James Sillars, business reporter