August 5, 2019 / 8:45 AM / 13 days ago

Britain's Spudulike collapses with loss of 298 jobs

(Reuters) - Baked potato chain Spudulike collapsed on Monday after a prospective buyer pulled out of a deal, resulting in the closure of all 37 outlets and the loss of 298 jobs, administrator Leonard Curtis said here.

Spudulike’s collapse marks the latest blow to Britain’s high street and follows celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain going into administration in May, which left 1,000 people without jobs.

“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,” joint administrator Neil Bennett said in a statement.

Bennett said he had worked with joint administrator Alex Cadwallader to prepare a company voluntary agreement (CVA), which was rejected by creditors, and had tried to sell all or part of Spudulike’s business and assets to a number of prospective buyers.

Spudulike, which sells fresh oven-baked potatoes with a choice of fillings, opened its first outlet in 1974 in the Tollcross area of Edinburgh.

The Spudulike Group operated three trading companies T&G Fast Food Developments, Courts Quality Foods and Spud-U-Like Ltd.

There were almost 5 million fewer trips to full-service restaurants in the 12 weeks to March 24, compared with a year earlier, data from Kantar showed. Sales in such restaurants fell by 6% in the year to March 24.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely

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