RSM oversees administration of Michelin-starred restaurant

05 February 2020 2 min. read

Professional services firm RSM has been appointed to oversee the administration of three Mayfair-based companies within the Marc restaurant group. The firm was installed in the role after HMRC issued a winding up order on the businesses following their non-payment of a VAT bill – potentially seeing more than 70 jobs lost.

The number of licensed premises in Britain continued its steady year-on-year decline in 2019, with one survey finding there had been a fall of 2,920 such venues over the last 12 months. Restaurant numbers in particular took a knock – despite small flourishes in the group restaurant scene.

Warning at the time that further contraction could be on the horizon, Karl Chessell, Business Unit Director for food and retail at CGA, said, “These are turbulent times for the restaurant, pub and bar sectors. As our new research shows, conditions are especially tough for independents, leased pubs and Italian restaurant operators.”

RSM oversees administration of Michelin-starred restaurant

While it has largely been ‘casual dining’ outfits which have been written about in connection with this, the restaurant-sector crunch has also inflicted a number of blows on upmarket groups. Operations dependent on upper-income consumers have sometimes been portrayed as bullet-proof compared to those dependent on middle-income earners, as the theory goes that these customers are less likely to have to tighten their belts. However, with the collapse of Prescott & Conran – a restaurant group co-founded by Sir Terence Conran – this does not necessarily count for much.

Now, another upmarket restaurant has fallen victim to the squeeze on the dining sector. The Michelin-starred Square restaurant in Mayfair, which employed 31 staff, has been forced to close its doors, alongside Mortons the Restaurant and Mortons Club – owners and operators of the Mortons private members club in Berkeley Square, Mayfair, which employs around 40 staff.

The administration follows court action from HMRC to wind up the businesses following the non-payment of VAT, with HMRC adding there are other associated companies which are not affected by this action. Professionals from professional services firm RSM will now look to find buyers for the assets of the three members of the Marc restaurant group.

Graham Bushby from RSM said, “At this stage in the process, it is too early to comment on our strategy for the administration. We are working closely with management and staff in seeking a positive way forward. We understand that the current situation is uncertain for many staff members across this group of businesses and we will be looking to provide clarity as soon as we can.”