Hundreds of jobs saved at Fazenda
Nearly 250 jobs have been saved at restaurant group City District Limited, which trades as the Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill alongside sister brand Picanha by Fazenda, after the group was bought out of administration in a pre-packaged sale by Southern Wind Group Limited.
The new company, headed up by City District Limited’s former chief executive Terence Langley and managing director Tomás Maunier, will continue to trade as Fazenda and will retain the Leeds, Manchester, Edinburgh and Liverpool Fazenda sites, saving 243 jobs.
However, Fazenda Birmingham and Picanha Chester are not included in the deal and 69 staff will be made redundant.
Founded in 2010, the Huddersfield-based company operated six South American gaucho-style grilling and Rodizio dining restaurants under the Fazenda and Picanha brands, which are known for the concept of continuous tableside service of grilled meats with the use of a double-sided card to control the flow of food to the customer.
The business suffered from the impact of prolonged lockdowns and restrictions caused by Covid-19, resulting in a significant build-up of landlord and HMRC arrears, which could no longer be serviced without additional funding.
As a result, Julian Pitts and Bob Maxwell of Begbies Traynor in Leeds were appointed joint administrators of City District Limited on 1 March 2021.
“The pandemic has meant that we have had to regroup and review to navigate the current climate as best we can and put the business in good stead in order to come back strong," says Langley. "We have high hopes that Fazenda will find the right place in Birmingham to operate in the near future, and we can continue on the growth path planned pre-Covid."
"Unfortunately rent negotiations and significantly reduced cash flow has led to this difficult decision to close two of the restaurants," adds Maunier. "The hardest part is that we were unable to retain the whole team, though we are extremely proud to have secured over 200 jobs in the process.
“Despite the closures, we believe that the long-term future is looking bright for both the industry and the brand, and we are looking forward to resuming operations across our other sites in May."
The acquisition also includes the recently launched e-commerce arm of the business Fazenda at Home, where customers can continue to purchase meats and buy at-home meal kits.
Southern Wind Group Limited will honour any gift vouchers previously issued by the Fazenda and Picanha restaurants, and further information will soon be available on the Fazenda website and via its social media pages.
Addleshaw Goddard’s restructuring team in Leeds and Edinburgh advised the joint administrators throughout the sale process. Walker Morris in Leeds acted as advisers to Southern Wind Group.