ICSM Credit: don't let big names take the mickey by not paying invoices before calling in administrators

Two more big names in hospitality threaten to go bust leaving creditors with empty plates

Nobody in their right minds would walk out of a restaurant without paying their bill - but that is what in effect Cafe Rouge's and Bella Italia's owners the Casual Dining Group are on the brink of doing.

ICSM Credit have issued a red warning to their members with the news that the owner of Café Rouge and Bella Italia have filed their intent to appoint administrators in the High Court.

“We have known for months the two chains owned by the Casual Dining Group were in trouble,” said Ian Carrotte, “but this confirms our worst fears. Many suppliers are owed many hundreds of thousands of pounds and they have been trying hard to get paid overdue invoices. They still own Las Iguanas and must have some cash reserves so don’t hesitate to keep pressing for payment because if administrators move in there’s little chance of getting paid.”

Remember Jamie Oliver’s Italian

He drew a parallel with the demise of Jamie Oliver’s Italian who went bust owing millions of pounds with suppliers from window cleaners to printers owed a fortune – while he opened new restaurants in the Far East flying in the face of media criticism.

The BBC reported: “Earlier on Monday, Casual Dining Group said that it is working with advisers from corporate finance firm AlixPartners over a potential restructuring programme.”

Casual Dining Group

Casual Dining Group issued this statement: "As is widely acknowledged, this is an unprecedented situation for our industry and, like many other companies across the UK, the directors of Casual Dining Group are working closely with our advisers as we consider our next steps. These notifications are a prudent measure in light of the company's position and the wider situation."

It is thought around 6,000 jobs are in danger of going although few are currently working due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Don’t let firm’s ‘take the mickey’

Ian Carrotte said: “The notice of intent to appoint administrators gives the company 10 days to sort out a plan on how to survive but once the time is up then administration is likely. One option is a CVA ( Crditors’ Voluntary arrangement) or a pre-pack. They have some prominent sites so other restaurant chains may be able to cherry pick selected outlets. Whatever happens it is another sign that allowing big names generous credit terms is a mistake. We always advise not to let these type of firms to ‘to take the mickey’ and spin out the time before going bust.”

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel - while at the moment there's a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach - ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website www.icsmcredit.com or send an email to Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

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