Yesterday, the Casual Dining Group announced that it is considering all insolvency options for its restaurants, which include Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge.

Whilst the retail and hospitality industries were already suffering in advance of the COVID-19 pandemic, the news of yet another restaurant group considering its restructuring options will be troubling news for landlords and restaurant goers alike.

Further, with the June quarter day fast approaching, and the likelihood of an initial moratorium imminent (meaning landlords cannot take action), it will be interesting to see whether the Casual Dining Group or its landlords take heed of the government guidance to communicate with each other in a “fair and reasonable” manner over the coming weeks/months. Read more here.

Alternatively, it will be open to landlords to start considering whether there are any other routes available to them to recover the sums due from the tenants, such as rent deposits, former tenants/guarantors or indeed sub-tenants.

In any event, time will tell if this move by the Casual Dining Group is a sign of things to come, particularly if restaurants and bars are going to be operating at low capacity for the near future, if and when they re-open.