Handmade Burger Co falls into administration

Handmade Burger Co falls into administration

The Handmade Burger Co has fallen into administration.

Leonard Curtis Recovery administrators closed nine of the company’s 29 restaurants yesterday with remaining outlets trading as normal pending “a solution which will enable as many jobs as possible to be preserved”.

Approval will be sought from creditors to pursue a company voluntary arrangement, which was “considered the best outcome for all creditors”. If that could not be achieved, the administrator will seek a buyer for the company.

The company has expanded quickly in recent years, opening as many as five new sites a year. In November last year, the Birmingham-based company, led by Chris Sargeant, hired Kevin Bacon as chairman.

The most recent accounts for the company, which is registered as The Sergeant Partnership at Companies House, show turnover of £16,011,435 from 16 restaurants in the year to 31 December 2015 with pre-tax profit of £810,986 – two of the 16 sites, Grand Central Birmingham and Nottingham, opened in late 2015.

One industry source suggested the company has been suffering sharp like-for-like sales declines at a number of sites. At the end of 2015, the directors’ loan account was overdrawn by £404,150 (2014: £51,547).

The company stated: “The directors have reduced dividends taken which has resulted in overdrawn loan accounts which are planned to be repaid over the next two to three years.”