Almost 300 jobs have been lost after the company behind Handmade Burger Co entered administration and all 18 restaurants were closed.

David Griffiths, Conrad Beighton and Paul Masters of Leonard Curtis Business Rescue & Recovery have been appointed joint administrators of The Burger Chain Ltd.

They said that "despite considerable efforts" to secure a sale of the company’s business, a deal "has not been possible".

Griffiths said: "The casual dining market in the UK has experienced significant challenges over the last four years, largely as a result of overcapacity in the sector, which has resulted in a significant number of insolvencies.

"Sales at Handmade Burger Co. restaurants have almost halved during this period, which has proved to be unsustainable.

"It is disappointing that circumstances have meant that a sale of the business has not been possible in this case, but our focus now should be on those employees affected by this difficult news.

"We will work hard to provide them with all necessary assistance to claim for monies which remain due to them."

The administration is being undertaken by the Birmingham office of Leonard Curtis.

The restaurants which have closed are: Aberdeen, Union Square; Birmingham, Brindley Place; Birmingham, Bullring; Bournemouth, BH2 Leisure; Edinburgh, Ocean Terminal; Glasgow, Breahead shopping centre; Glasgow, St Vincent Street; Hull, Paragon Street; Leeds, Trinity; Leicester, Highcross; Lincoln, Brayford Wharf; Newcastle, Metrocentre; Peterborough, The Old Still; Reading, The Oracle; Sheffield, Meadowhall; Solihull, Touchwood; Southampton, West Quay; Wembley, Designer Outlet.

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