Ranjit Singh Boparan buys Gourmet Burger Kitchen in rescue deal

Gourmet Burger Kitchen has been bought out of administration by the food industry tycoon Ranjit Singh Boparan in a deal that will save more than 660 jobs.



a sign hanging off the side of a building: Photograph: Maureen McLean/REX/Shutterstock


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Maureen McLean/REX/Shutterstock

Boparan, who bought Carluccio’s in May, has bought 35 of the burger restaurant’s sites. However, under the pre-pack administration deal, 26 other sites will close, with the loss of 362 jobs.

The burger chain, which was owned by the South African company Famous Brands, which also owns Wimpy in the UK, was put on the market as it struggled amid the pandemic and high street lockdown.

But Gourmet Burger Kitchen has been in difficulties since a restructuring deal with landlords in 2018 under which it agreed to close up to 17 sites after the casual dining market became oversaturated.

Gavin Maher, a partner at Deloitte who was appointed joint administrator on Wednesday, said: “The broader challenges facing ‘bricks and mortar’ operators, combined with the effect of the lockdown, resulted in a deterioration in financial performance and a material funding requirement.

“We have been working closely with the management team under very difficult market conditions to try and find a funding solution, and I am glad to be able to announce the rescue of this well-loved brand together with a large proportion of the sites and workforce. However, it’s clearly disappointing that a number of sites have had to close resulting in today’s redundancies.”



a sign hanging off the side of a building: A Gourmet Burger Kitchen restaurant in Bracknell.


© Photograph: Maureen McLean/REX/Shutterstock
A Gourmet Burger Kitchen restaurant in Bracknell.

Labelled the “chicken king” as he is the co-owner and founder of 2 Sisters Food Group, which supplies about a third of the chicken on UK supermarket shelves, Boparan’s business interests includes turkey producer Bernard Matthews, the upmarket London restaurant The Cinnamon Club restaurant, as well as the Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner chains.

Satnam Leihal, the managing director of Boparan Restaurant Group, said: “This latest acquisition is in line with our strategy to grow our restaurant group with quality brands. Whilst it is an extremely challenging time for the sector, we believe quality hospitality businesses will recover in the long term as people return to eating out.”

Boparan is extending his empire as restaurants and pubs face intense financial pressure during the coronavirus crisis.

UK operators were forced to close for several months in March and continue to suffer from local lockdowns in some parts of the country, as well as from low visitor numbers on high streets, retail parks and shopping centres in general.

With profits under pressure, Pizza Hut, Pizza Express, Azzurri Group, which ownsAsk Italian and Zizzi, and the Casual Dining Group, which owns Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas, have all closed outlets, putting thousands of jobs at risk.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen sites to close under the deal

Angel, London

Aylesbury

Baker Street, London

Berner Street, London

Brunswick Centre, London

Canterbury

Cardiff Library

Chichester

Clink Street

, London

Covent Garden, London

Edinburgh

Glasgow

(closed before administrators were appointed)

Maidstone

Nottingham

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Ranjit Singh Boparan buys Gourmet Burger Kitchen in rescue deal | Business

Gourmet Burger Kitchen has been bought out of administration by the food industry tycoon Ranjit Singh Boparan in a deal that will save more than 660 jobs.

Boparan, who bought Carluccio’s in May, has bought 35 of the burger restaurant’s sites. However, under the pre-pack administration deal, 26 other sites will close, with the loss of 362 jobs.

The burger chain, which was owned by the South African company Famous Brands, which also owns Wimpy in the UK, was put on the market as it struggled amid the pandemic and high street lockdown.

But Gourmet Burger Kitchen has been in difficulties since a restructuring deal with landlords in 2018 under which it agreed to close up to 17 sites after the casual dining market became oversaturated.

Gavin Maher, a partner at Deloitte who was appointed joint administrator on Wednesday, said: “The broader challenges facing ‘bricks and mortar’ operators, combined with the effect of the lockdown, resulted in a deterioration in financial performance and a material funding requirement.

“We have been working closely with the management team under very difficult market conditions to try and find a funding solution, and I am glad to be able to announce the rescue of this well-loved brand together with a large proportion of the sites and workforce. However, it’s clearly disappointing that a number of sites have had to close resulting in today’s redundancies.”

Labelled the “chicken king” as he is the co-owner and founder of 2 Sisters Food Group, which supplies about a third of the chicken on UK supermarket shelves, Boparan’s business interests includes turkey producer Bernard Matthews, the upmarket London restaurant The Cinnamon Club restaurant, as well as the Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner chains.

Satnam Leihal, the managing director of Boparan Restaurant Group, said: “This latest acquisition is in line with our strategy to grow our restaurant group with quality brands. Whilst it is an extremely challenging time for the sector, we believe quality hospitality businesses will recover in the long term as people return to eating out.”

Boparan is extending his empire as restaurants and pubs face intense financial pressure during the coronavirus crisis.

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UK operators were forced to close for several months in March and continue to suffer from local lockdowns in some parts of the country, as well as from low visitor numbers on high streets, retail parks and shopping centres in general.

With profits under pressure, Pizza Hut, Pizza Express, Azzurri Group, which ownsAsk Italian and Zizzi, and the Casual Dining Group, which owns Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas, have all closed outlets, putting thousands of jobs at risk.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen sites to close under the deal

Angel, London
Aylesbury
Baker Street, London
Berner Street, London
Brunswick Centre, London
Canterbury
Cardiff Library
Chichester
Clink Street
, London
Covent Garden, London
Edinburgh
Glasgow
(closed before administrators were appointed)
Maidstone
Nottingham
Richmond
, London

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Prime Day 2020 Deal: AeroGarden products up to 40% off at Best Buy

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Winter is fast approaching, but an AeroGarden makes it easy to take your garden indoors. Select models are currently up to 40% off at Best Buy as part of their early Black Friday sale, a two-day event happening right now in tandem with Amazon Prime Day 2020.

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Prime Day Kitchen Essentials Deal: Save Up to 43%

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Prime Day Furniture Deals 2020: Top Early Sofa, Desk, Rug, Office Chair & Garden Patio Furniture Sales Tracked by Deal Stripe

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Top Early Sofa, Desk, Rug, Office Chair & Garden Patio Furniture Sales Tracked by Deal Stripe

List of all the best early furniture deals for Amazon Prime Day, featuring the latest discounts on Amazon Furniture, sofa covers, couches, ergonomic office chairs, and patio furniture sets

Here’s a guide to all the latest early furniture deals for Amazon Prime Day 2020, featuring all the latest discounts on Devoko patio dining sets, nuLOOm rugs, Amazon desks and couches, Bush office furniture, & Herman Miller office chairs. Explore the best deals using the links below.

Best sofa deals:

Best desk deals:

Best office chair deals:

Best rug deals:

Best patio furniture & hot tub deals:

Best TV stand deals:

Best coffee table deals:

Best kitchen & dining deals:

  • Save 45% on the Winsome Wood Nolan Occasional Table at Amazon – clean, traditional lines make the Nolan Coffee table a great fit for any décor and home

  • Save 41% on the WE Furniture Company Modern Farmhouse Buffet Sideboard at Amazon – rustic, modern farmhouse design style for a charming country feel

  • Save $353 on the Crosley Furniture Shelby 7-Piece Dining Set at Amazon – crafted with solid hardwood and wood veneers, with table, extension leaf, and 6 chairs

  • Save $197 on the Linon Ardmore Kitchen Nook Set at Amazon – 5-piece kitchen nook set for casual daily dining, includes table, side bench, and 3-section corner unit

  • Save $180 on the WE 6 Person Rustic Farmhouse Wood and Metal Room Kitchen Table Set at Amazon – made with solid pine wood, distressed table top and painted legs

  • Save 41% on the Christopher Knight Home Phinnaeus Fabric Dining Chairs at Amazon – (2) dining chairs, distressed wood with soft edges along the chair

  • Save 58% on the Safavieh American Homes Collection Burris Country Farmhouse Spindle Side Chair at Amazon – crafted of sustainable rubber wood, this set of two brings comfort and style to the table

Best bedroom furniture deals:

  • Save $342 on the Linon Silver Harper Vanity Set at Amazon – decorative curvy front legs, mirrored front and sides, includes Vanity and stool

  • Save $103 on the VASAGLE Tri-Folding Necklace Hooked Mirror Vanity Set at Amazon – 7 drawers, 6 organizers, makeup dressing table with cushioned stool, easy assembly

  • Save 47% on the FURINNO Andrey End Table Nightstand Set at Amazon – simple stylish design comes in set of two, are functional and suitable for any room

  • Save 48% on the WE Furniture Company Modern Round Side End Accent Table at Amazon – durable, laminate table top, end or side table or nightstand in bedroom

  • Save 52% on the Ashley Furniture Signature Design – Willowton Nightstand at Amazon – two-tone rustic nightstand, antiqued details, built-in USB port, easy assembly

More furniture deals:

Interested in more deals on home, office, patio & garden furniture? Click here to view the full selection of live deals on Amazon’s Prime Day page.

Prime Day savings only last for a certain length of time. Deal Stripe earns commissions from purchases made using the links provided.

From big-ticket items to everyday essentials and groceries, thousands

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Trump adviser says state funding got in the way of stimulus deal

  • President Donald Trump told White House negotiators to table stimulus talks until after the election.
  • The acting director of the Domestic Policy Council, Brooke Rollins, told Insider in an exclusive interview that state funding was the biggest area of disagreement. 
  • “I think he just realized that it’s just so far apart, and ultimately to best serve the country it’s better to wait and revisit once we’re out of the political maelstrom,” she said. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

 

A coronavirus stimulus deal between Democrats and the White House fell apart largely because the sides couldn’t agree about how much money to give budget-crunched states, according to one of President Donald Trump’s top advisers. 

“Where the Democrats came down was so far out of — no pun intended — out of left field in terms of the trillions of dollars that they wanted to bail out states and cities,” Brooke Rollins, the acting director of the president’s Domestic Policy Council, said Tuesday in an exclusive interview with Insider. 

Trump announced his surprise decision to walk away from another stimulus package in a series of tweets Tuesday. The decision came a day after he left the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center despite still being sick with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. While hospitalized, the president had used his prolific social media account to urge Congress to reengage with his administration on negotiations over a new stimulus bill. 

Stocks fell sharply after Trump’s announcement on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average plummeting almost 400 points. The talks on a new stimulus broke down while the US economy continues to reel from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 210,000 people and put millions out of work as businesses shut down.

 

‘We tried really, really hard’

Speaking with Insider just minutes after the president’s tweets, Rollins said there were several factors that influenced his decision to back out of talks. But she singled out the Democrats’ demand for funding to the states as a no-go because the White House saw that as primarily intended to help bail out blue states and cities whose governments had mismanaged taxpayer dollars. 

“I think he just realized that it’s just so far apart, and ultimately to best serve the country it’s better to wait and revisit once we’re out of the political maelstrom,” she said. 

Rollins said she wasn’t sure how close House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had been to reaching a deal before the president’s announcement. The Domestic Policy Council that she leads is an influential body in the White House that’s made up of top Cabinet members. It also meets regularly with Trump.   

“I know we tried really, really hard,” she said.

Read more: Meet the 24 most powerful people advising Trump on healthcare as the president vies for a second term

Nancy Pelosi

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the

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How the White House is trying to convince America that Trump’s illness isn’t a big deal

In case that point was somehow lost on observers, campaign aides like Jason Miller made it more explicitly.

The tacit message of the tweet: Even the virus can’t keep this guy down.

But Miller’s presentation of what’s shown is obviously questionable. For one thing, while he boasts that Trump didn’t need a teleprompter, the president can be seen looking down at the sheet of paper in front of him, almost certainly to consult notes about what he plans to say.

This is not a big deal, of course, and, technically, it doesn’t conflict with Miller’s representation that no teleprompter was used. But that Miller pointedly uses this as a point of contrast with former vice president Joe Biden, Trump’s opponent in the upcoming election, is ironic. After all, Trump’s campaign has repeatedly criticized Biden’s use of written notes or alleged that he was referring to notes as he gave public comments. (Here’s an example from a Biden television appearance and one centered on his invitation to Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) to join his ticket.)

Then there is Miller’s claim that this was “one take” — meaning that it is presented as Trump offered it, without editing. Shortly after the video was published, a number of professional video editors noted that this probably wasn’t true; that, after Trump mentions the use of therapeutics, he appears to begin to cough — but not complete the cough.

You can see it in the animation here. About halfway through, his shoulders hunch. You’ll also notice that when the animation loops, the position of the cabinets behind him shifts, despite this apparently being shot from a mounted camera. In other words, the camera was probably moved.

Those shifts are evidence to experts of the use of Adobe Premiere’s “fluid morph” tool, a nifty bit of software that allows video producers to hide cuts. There are a number of examples on YouTube of the tool at work, such as this one. If you watch that video, you will notice that the effect is most noticeable in the background, where the position of elements (particularly at upper left) suddenly changes.

This video wasn’t released simply as a matter of course. It followed reports earlier in the day that Trump had been in more dire condition on Friday than the White House at first let on. The New York Times reports that the revelation that Trump had been more ill than was originally suggested “infuriated” the president, prompting him to first encourage his attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani to pass a message about his vitality to the New York Post and, later, to make a similar point publicly himself.

In other words, Trump himself wanted to show the world how healthy he was, something that wouldn’t be aided by an on-camera cough. (His doctors have publicly acknowledged that Trump has been experiencing a cough, a common symptom of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.)

Trump’s team also released photos of him apparently working from the presidential facility at

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House leaves for October recess without reaching deal with White House on coronavirus bill

The House has adjourned for October recess so members may return to their districts to campaign ahead of Election Day, even though congressional Democrats have not reached a deal with White House officials for a coronavirus relief bill.

Pelosi said in a letter to her Democratic House colleagues on Friday afternoon that she and administration officials remained far apart on certain issues. Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke several times this week to negotiate, and met in person at the Capitol on Tuesday.

“Our negotiations with the Administration continue, and I am hopeful that we can reach agreement. However, we still have significant disagreement in key areas,” Pelosi wrote. She said that she and administration officials differed on unemployment insurance benefits, schools, state and local funding, a child tax credit, testing and tracing, and appropriations.

“We are expecting a response from the White House on these areas and others with more detail.  In the meantime, we continue to work on the text to move quickly to facilitate an agreement,” Pelosi said.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi walks into her offices at the U.S Capitol
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) enters the U.S Capitol to her office in Washington, D.C., U.S. October 2, 2020.

KEN CEDENO / REUTERS


Pelosi told reporters on Thursday that Democrats and the Trump administration were still far apart on issues including funding for state and local governments, and there is “a stark difference not just of dollars, but of values.”

The House narrowly passed a $2.2 trillion aid bill on Thursday evening, a slimmed-down version of the $3.4 trillion relief bill the House passed in May.

The legislation is unlikely to pass in the Senate, as the Republican majority is unwilling to consider a proposal that costs more than $2 trillion. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that “the thought that Senate Republicans would go up to $2.2 trillion is outlandish.”

In her letter to Democratic colleagues, Pelosi also offered her thoughts and prayers to President Trump and first lady Melania Trump, who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

“This is a sad day for our country, knowing that more than 7 million American families have faced the same worry after their loved one has been infected, and more than 209,000 have died,” Pelosi said.

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Pence tests negative as White House scrambles to deal with its coronavirus outbreak

Vice President Mike Pence tested negative for the coronavirus on Friday morning, his office announced. <span class="copyright">(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)</span>
Vice President Mike Pence tested negative for the coronavirus on Friday morning, his office announced. (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

Vice President Mike Pence tested negative for the coronavirus on Friday morning, his office announced, suggesting that he might not have been infected by President Trump or others on the White House staff.

“As has been routine for months, Vice President Pence is tested for COVID-19 every day. This morning, Vice President Pence and the Second Lady tested negative for COVID-19,” tweeted Devin O’Malley, Pence’s press secretary. “Vice President Pence remains in good health and wishes the Trumps well in their recovery.”

Pence’s office did not immediately respond to questions about when he was last in contact with Trump, who announced his positive test results early Friday morning. But during a rally in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Pence told the crowd that he had been in the Oval Office with the president earlier that day.

The news that Pence had tested negative alleviates some questions about the presidential line of succession if Trump becomes badly ill and is unable to perform his duties. As an elderly, overweight man, Trump is a prime candidate to develop serious symptoms from the coronavirus.

Pence is currently scheduled to participate in a debate Wednesday with Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee.

It’s unclear where Trump contracted the virus, but one of his closest aides, Hope Hicks, tested positive on Thursday.

The viral spread presents a nightmare scenario for the White House. Trump has been traveling in close quarters with top members of his administration and his campaign in recent days. The people closest to the president are tested regularly, but they rarely wear masks despite advice from public health experts.

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