Bill’s Restaurants continues to have the backing of major shareholder Richard Caring, who has indicated he would be willing to support the group should cash funding be required, if this was not available through its banks.

However in its latest financial accounts, the company conceded there was no “binding commitments for this additional support should it be required” from Caring, given the ongoing uncertainty over extended period of closure.

Chris Robinson, group chief financial officer for Richard Caring restaurants, reported Bill’s Restaurants was able to meet its labilities for at least 12 months, as of November 2020.

He wrote: “Despite the challenges relating to covid-19, the directors and management believe the business is well positioned to be able to navigate through the impact due to its available cash and working capital position, its ability to manage costs, and strength and flexibility of its customer proposition.”

In January 2020 the company secured £1m liquidity via a shareholder loan, matched by a drawdown from its existing banks.

Since then it has agreed an undrawn £10m business support facility with its banks.

A £5m revolving credit facility was repaid in September 2020 as planned.

Parent company Bills Stores Limited breached its covenant with HSBC in 2020, though this was waived.

After its phased reopening in July 2020, all restaurants were described as profitable and cash generative, with trading throughout August, September and October 2020 particularly strong.

The brand is reviewing the performance of all sites, with a focus on previously loss-making sites within the portfolio.

Robinson said: “Whilst management are still in the process of finalising strategies for these restaurants, there is confidence that negotiations on reduced rental costs, as well as other cost reductions, will result in the remaining portfolio of sites outperforming much of the causal dining market.”