Having filed for administration this week, Argentine steakhouse chain Gaucho has announced that it is to close all 22 of its Cau restaurants, which will result in 540 job losses.
According to Eater, the 16 Gaucho sites in the UK and abroad are currently safe for the moment. The restaurant group appointed Deloitte as administrators on Wednesday and released a statement that revealed 540 Cau staff will be made redundant.
Gaucho blamed Cau’s closure on a number of factors including rapid over-expansion, poor site selection and “onerous” lease arrangements.
Having under-performed for a number of years, Cau was recently operating at a “significant loss”, which negatively impacted the entire Gaucho group.
Deloitte will now focus on “maximising the value achievable in the Gaucho business, which is profitable and underpinned by a strong brand”.
All 13 UK Gaucho sites will continue to trade while Deloitte seeks a buyer for the business. Its sister sites in Hong Kong, Dubai and Buenos Aires will also remain open.
Deloitte will also be looking for buyers for the 22 Cau sites that are set to close.
Currently owned by private equity firm Equistone, Gaucho is renowned in the UK not only for its focus on fine steak but also for its promotion of Argentine wine.
Its closure could have a knock on effect for Argentine wines in the UK. Gaucho’s former director of wine, Phil Crozier, was recently appointed ambassador for Wines of Argentina in the UK and Europe and has left the ailing chain.
Gaucho is not the first big restaurant chain to feel the strain this year. Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s and Byron have all been forced to close multiple sites, while longstanding Soho haunt The Gay Hussar has closed its doors last month.
Most recently 28°-50° Fetter Lane, the wine-focused restaurant founded by chef Agnar Sverrisson and Xavier Rousset, was sold to Cliffords Restaurant Limited.
Around two restaurants per week have closed in the UK over the past year to March, according to CGA’s market report.