All Azzurri Group articles

  • GettyImages-511773173
    News

    Sector calls for apprenticeship protections

    2021-03-03T08:20:00Z

    Apprenticeship funding and youth employment must be protected if training and development of the future hospitality workforce are to be a cornerstone of the country’s economic recovery, sector leaders have said.

  • pyramid-hesburger
    Longreads

    ​How technology is revolutionising the post-pandemic restaurant sector

    2021-02-02T08:37:00Z

    At the end of 2019, if a customer wanted to order and pay for their food using their mobile phone the number of restaurants in which they could do this would have been relatively small. Fast forward to this year and, once lockdown is lifted, the number of places offering digital order and pay will be significantly bigger.

  • Coco-di-Mama
    Interviews

    Steve Holmes: ‘We have scenarios coming out of our ears’

    2021-01-28T08:35:00Z

    The inability to effectively plan for the long-term is an issue that has blighted restaurant operators during the pandemic, but an Easter reopening makes the most sense to work to, says Steve Holmes, CEO at Azzurri Group.

  • Deal of the Year Header Graphic AlixPartners
  • Investor of the Year Header Graphic BDO
  • TCS-CGI-Restaurant-Bar
    News

    Karen Jones: Why is it so important that hospitality wholeheartedly supports NHS Test and Trace?

    2020-08-28T06:55:00Z

    So it’s a Bank Holiday weekend, pay day for many and the last EOTHO on Bank Holiday Monday. Many of our restaurants and pubs across the UK will be very busy and it seems an opportune moment to remind ourselves of the vital importance of all our places fully supporting NHS Test and Trace. Why is it so important that hospitality wholeheartedly supports NHS Test and Trace? Because hospitality offers safe spaces for people to enjoy being with friends and family. Because we are often at the centre of our communities and high streets. We have a real responsibility to keep our customers, our teams and our communities safe and well. NHS Test and Trace is a powerful way to do just that: collecting and providing the information to help break the chain of transmission and control the virus.

  • Bella Italia
    News

    Alix Partners: Sensible debt is good financial management

    2020-08-17T07:49:00Z

    Private equity debt financing will return to the casual dining sector as it begins to recover, Alix Partners MD Graeme Smith has predicted.

  • GettyImages-1206334687
    Opinion

    Dominic Walsh: Casual dining one of ‘big losers’ of pandemic

    2020-08-17T07:48:00Z

    It used to be so simple. Come up with a restaurant concept and a brand, open one restaurant, then a second, then aim for five outlets then ten and 20, and if it’s still working, press the button on a nationwide rollout. Well, something like that, anyway.

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    Analysis & Insight

    AlixPartners: Gradually building momentum

    2020-08-14T07:38:00Z

    Just over a month since restart, it is obvious that the sector’s revival will take time, and sadly it will not include everyone. 

  • rooney anand
    News

    Anand steps down from CDG

    2020-07-29T15:41:00Z

    Rooney Anand has stepped down from his role as non-executive chairman of Casual Dining Group.

  • Zizzi interior
    News

    How Azzurri Group went into administration

    2020-07-23T07:48:00Z

    One of the star performers in a competitive casual dining sector, and an even more competitive Italian subsector, Azzurri Group was formed out of the break-up of Gondola.

  • ASK Italian
    News

    Azzurri latest to announce closures after rescue deal

    2020-07-19T10:30:00Z

    The Azzurri Group has been acquired by TowerBrook Capital Partners via a pre-pack administration process, but 75 sites will close. Azzurri, which is made up of 301 restaurants including Zizzi, Ask and Coco di Mama, said when the coronavirus hit it acted “swiftly to protect its employees and customers, deciding to close all restaurants ahead of the government’s lockdown. Azzurri took all possible steps to protect the financial position of the business by ceasing all capex, renegotiating rental payments and food supplier costs and furloughing all restaurant staff and non-critical central staff.”

  • ASK Italian
    News

    ​Azzurri in advanced talks over pre-pack sale

    2020-07-17T07:19:00Z

    Azzurri Group could be on the verge of a pre-pack administration which would involve the closure of 20-25 restaurants, The Times reports.

  • Cafe Rouge exterior
    News

    Epiris frontrunner to buy CDG

    2020-07-13T07:24:00Z

    The former backer of TGI Friday’s is in advanced talks to buy Casual Dining Group, Sky News reports.

  • GettyImages-1191892676
    Opinion

    Dominic Walsh: On not-so-Super Saturday and the pain that’s yet to come

    2020-07-10T07:40:00Z

    If anyone thought that July 4 would bring down the curtain on the 15-week coronavirus purdah, they were soon disabused of the notion. Super Saturday was – like the weather – something of a damp squib. While some of the big pub companies opened as many as 80% to 85% of their estates on day one, research by CGA suggests that only 45% of hostelries opened their doors on Independence Day.

  • ASK Italian
    News

    Azzurri sounds out sale

    2020-06-05T07:22:00Z

    Ask Italian and Zizzi operator Azzurri Group is exploring a sale of the company, Sky News reports.

  • Zizzi interior
    Interviews

    Azzurri CEO Steve Holmes: Things are changing all the time

    2020-05-22T07:19:00Z

    Do you remember what is was like to go to a restaurant and order a plate of spaghetti? I miss it hugely, and I’m just a hungry customer. So how does Azzurri CEO Steve Holmes, who runs 295 restaurants, feel about seeing his entire estate shut down? “It’s desperately sad, because we’ve made really strong progress over the last four years,” he says. “Zizzi’s NPS score moved up to number six, the highest ever. Ask was also racing up. We opened an Ask in Westfield just before everything closed and it was trading incredibly well.”

  • Bella Italia
    News

    CDG in restructuring talks

    2020-05-18T13:57:00Z

    Causal Dining Group is in talks with advisory firm Alixpartners about a financial restructuring to secure the business through the coronavirus crisis.

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    News

    Debt enforcement moratorium still needed - MCA poll

    2020-05-18T07:03:00Z

    More than half of operators, (54%) said that their landlord had refused to offer any concessions, with an additional 34% saying that negotiations were ongoing, according to the latest weekly Hospitality Leaders Poll by MCA Insight/HIM. The results highlight further the need for a debt enforcement moratorium, one of the key pillars of Hospitality Union’s original six-point action plan, to give both commercial tenants and landlords breathing space against litigation.

  • ASK Italian
    News

    Azzurri appoints KPMG

    2020-05-04T07:21:00Z

    The Azzurri Group has turned to KPMG as it looks to find a way out of the coronavirus crisis, according to the Sunday Times. It also said the business was still waiting to find out if it was eligible for a business interruption loan. Last year Azzurri, which operates Ask, Zizzi and Coco di Mama, made a pre-tax loss of £16m on sales of £299m.