Leeds Fazenda restaurant in Granary Wharf saved after buyout from administration
The popular Fazenda restaurant in Leeds has been saved from closure after the company was bought out of administration.
Owners of the South American restaurant chain, City District Limited, founded the company in 2010.
It operated six gaucho-style grilling and Rodizio dining restaurants under the Fazenda and Picanha brands, including the busy Granary Wharf site.
However, the business suffered financially due to the impact of lockdowns and restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This resulted in a significant build-up of landlord and HMRC arrears which could no longer be paid without additional funding.
The company went into administration.
Julian Pitts and Bob Maxwell of Leeds-based company Begbies Traynor were appointed as administrators.
After a period of marketing undertaken by Begbies Traynor Group, a pre-packaged sale was agreed to 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.
This will save 243 jobs.
However, Fazenda Birmingham and Picanha Chester are not included in the deal.
A total of 69 staff will be made redundant.
Joint administrator Julian Pitts said: “After more than 10 years of healthy trading, the Fazenda restaurant chain became yet another casualty of the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality sector.
"With the UK undergoing multiple lockdowns, together with social distancing measures and increased working from home, the restaurant trade has faced one of its toughest periods ever.
"It is good news for employees, customers and suppliers that most of the popular Fazenda eateries will re-open for business once the current restrictions are lifted.
"We wish them well for the future.”
Chief executive of Southern Wind Group Limited, Terence Langley, said, “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.
"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."
Managing director Tomás Maunier said, "Unfortunately rent negotiations and significantly reduced cash flow has led to this difficult decision to close two of the restaurants.
"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."
Fazenda is known for its continuous tableside service of high-quality grilled meats with the use of a double-sided card to control the flow of meats to the customer.
Cordeiro lamb rump, Bife Ancho ribeye steak and Presunto and Abacaxi smoked gammon and pineapple, among many more.
It also has a large buffet selection to choose from.
There are lunch and evening menus.
It also serves vegetarian and vegan options, and a halal meat selection is available on request.
The restaurant recently launched ‘Fazenda at Home’ kits, joining many others in the ‘make-away’ market, where customers can continue to purchase quality meats and buy prepare-at-home meal kits.
Southern Wind Group Limited will honour any gift vouchers previously issued by the Fazenda and Picanha restaurants.