Family favourite restaurant chain abruptly shuts branch as stunned customers are met with a sign on the door | The Sun

A BRANCH of a popular family restaurant has abruptly closed as customers were met with locked doors this week. 

The Swindon location of Frankie and Benny's in Greenbridge Retail and Leisure Park shut its doors on Sunday.

Menu signs were seen being taken off the outside of the building on Monday.

It seems even staff were shocked at the news with one commenting they were only told a month before the restaurant was due to close. 

A spokesperson from Frankie and Benny’s has said: “We announced a review of our Leisure estate in March and made the difficult decision to exit some of our sites.” 

“We are working closely with our impacted teams and will look to redeploy colleagues to neighbouring sites across our wider estate wherever possible.”

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Fans of the restaurant chain were shocked upon hearing the news and took to Facebook to share their frustration.

One user said: “Right I’m moving out of Swindon.”

“I loved their pancakes!” said another

A third user said: “Too expensive people don’t have the money these days, that's why things are closing. Blame the government.”

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Local media reports that managers at the Swindon site were concerned they would see fewer customers after the next-door cinema Empire closed down in July. 

Cinema chain Vue is set to take over the location but it looks like the move is too little too late to save the Frankie and Benny’s Swindon restaurant.

Forty other branches of Frankie and Benny's have closed over the past year.

Last month The Restaurant Group, which owns other big names like Las Iguanas and Bella Italia, completed a deal to sell both Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito's to Cafe Rouge owner The Big Table Group.

The £7.5million deal will allow the group to focus on its other brands, including Wagamama.

The move included 75 restaurants an associated restaurant and management team employees.

The hospitality industry as a whole has been struggling to pick up after the pandemic. 

The cost of living has caused families to spend much less on eating out, and many chains are also struggling to cope with soaring energy bills and inflation.

Several chains have been affected, resulting in brands like Wetherspoons closing branches.

In January, Byron Burger fell into administration with owners saying it would result in the loss of over 200 jobs.

Italian dining chain Prezzo revealed plans to shut 46 restaurants back in April as a result of soaring energy and food costs, putting 810 jobs at risk.

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