The coronavirus crisis has a bitter taste for Le Pain Quotidien: the bakery chain urgently needs to find a buyer for its restaurants in the United Kingdom. As for the United States, all of its thousands of employees have been laid off.
In urgent need of a buyer
Time is running out for Le Pain Quotidien's British branch: interested buyers can make an offer for the chain's 26 restaurants by Wednesday at the latest. Otherwise, a judicial reorganisation procedure will be initiated and operations will be placed in the hands of external administrators, Sky News reports.
The British branch of the Brussels bakery and restaurant chain is supposedly "haemorrhaging cash" and can no longer bear the costs since the closure of its points of sale, an anonymous source in the Belgian newspaper De Tijd confirmed. "Local managers have been asked to find a solution", the source said. Last year, the chain posted a turnover of 44 million euros in the United Kingdom, but a net loss of one million euros.
Things are looking bad in the United States as well: according to the New York Post, Le Pain Quotidien was already planning to close nineteen branches in New York, even before the coronavirus struck. Moreover, RCS Real Estate Advisors is currently reviewing the entire portfolio of US stores. In the meantime, the chain has also laid off the 2,000 employees in its branches, as well as the majority of its office staff. No one currently knows whether, or how many, restaurants will be able to reopen.