Tossed and Vital Ingredient operator Zest Food has submitted proposals for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), following a decline in trading at the Vital estate.

David Rubin Partners are acting as nominees, and have submitted the CVA proposals to creditors.

There are currently no plans for store closures.

As part of the process, landlords will be asked to accept a combination of rent free and rent reductions to ensure their store remains part of a viable estate.

Managing director Neil Sebba told MCA the core Tossed business remains in growth, both in terms of like-for-like trading and through new business avenues such as delivery and vending.

However, he said following the acquisition of Vital Ingredient last year, those stores have experienced trading with a “level of decline that is significantly below our expectations”.

This drag on the business has led to a restructuring of the whole group “becoming unavoidable”.

Sebba said: “The directors consider a CVA as the best way to protect the Tossed brand, provide breathing space for the company and provide strong foundations on which the business can grow in the future. As part of this we are asking landlords to look at the rent that we pay to ensure all the stores remain viable.

“Our proposals do not involve closing any stores in the short term, and as such we seek to protect all our employees.”

Once this process is complete, all remaining stores will be converted to the Tossed brand.

There are currently 16 Tossed sites and eight Vital Ingredient sites based in London.