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Argentinian Steakhouse Chain Cau to Close All 22 U.K. Sites

540 jobs will be lost; parent brand Gaucho appear safe — for now

Steak with chimichurri sauce and watercress at CAU restaurant in Wimbledon, London CAU Restaurants | Instagram

Following the news yesterday that Gaucho and its sister brand Cau had both filed for administration, putting 1,500 jobs at stake, it has been announced that Cau will close all 22 of its U.K.-wide sites. Gaucho itself however, for the moment, looks to have been spared.

In a statement sent out today announcing the appointment of Deloitte as administrators, it’s predicted that “approximately 540” Cau staff will be made redundant as a result of the decision. Blame is laid at the door of “rapid over-expansion, poor site selection, onerous lease arrangements and a fundamentally poor guest proposition”, with Cau being described as something of a millstone around Gaucho’s neck:

In addition to substantial cost headwinds facing all dining operators, the group has suffered as a result of the material underperformance of the Cau brand, which has suffered from negative like-for-like sales for three years, and is as a consequence now significantly loss-making.

The administrators say their focus will now be on “maximising the value achievable in the Gaucho business, which is profitable and underpinned by a strong brand”. All of the Gaucho sites will continue to trade whilst the administrators seek a buyer for the business. They will also be looking for potential buyers for the Cau sites, including those in St Katharine Docks, Wimbledon, Kingston and Blackheath.

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