Pie and mash group Square Pie falls into administration

Square Pie founder, Martin Dewey
06/02/2018 - 07:00
Gourmet pie and mash group, Square Pie, yesterday (5 February) went into administration following a ‘perfect storm’ of falling trade and rising food, rents and staffing costs.

Having failed to find a buyer for its five-strong restaurant business, all loss-making stores (four London-based and one in Birmingham) were “closed immediately,” with 50 redundancies across the group.

Numerous attempts were made to save the business, including a round of equity investment in March 2017 (for which it raised just £100,000 of its £1m target) as well as directors loaning money to the company to launch the Square & Co concept store, but which “was unable to save the business.”

Founder Martin Dewey said: “Following a month-long process, in conjunction with KPMG, to market the restaurants and the business as a whole to potential food sector buyers across the UK, we were unable to attract any party to make an offer to acquire the whole business as a going concern.

“The collapse of the (Square Pie) restaurant business was something we were desperate to avoid, and we were hopeful even as recently as last weekend that we could save the stores and the jobs, but unfortunately the backing didn’t materialise in the current leisure climate.

“Together with my colleagues, we worked tirelessly for over 15 years to create a fantastic brand, and I am devastated that we couldn’t make the restaurants work in the current economy. While the wholesale side of the business remained viable, in the end we ran out of money to put into the business to keep the outlets.”

Purchased by entrepreneur Oliver Wessely, Square Pie’s wholesale business will continue to trade and fulfil all orders, with the present management team retained as a condition of the sale. Wessely’s new venture, Beat Foods Ltd, has rights to produce Square Pie products for grocery and wholesale.

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