Franco Manca and The Real Greek operator Fulham shore has announced the full closure of its estate.

Since the Government’s instruction to close all restaurants and bars last Friday (20 March), the group was still offering delivery and collection services, but made the decision to cease all operations from Tuesday (24 March).

“We really hoped, with all of our hearts, that we would not have been where we are today,” said a statement on its Franco Manca website. “Sadly we have had to close all of our pizzeria temporarily, due to current circumstances and government advice.”

“Our customers, suppliers and of course our teams are what make us Franco Manca. Their health and welfare is the most important thing to us. So many of our team are European and as such they are under a lot of pressure and anxiety worrying about their loved ones at home. These are testing times for all of us. Right now the most responsible thing we can all do is to stay at home.”

A statement by The Real Greek said: “It is with a heavy heart that I announce the temporary closure of all 18 of The Real Greek restaurants, as well as delivery and take-away services.

“This of course follows the recent government guidelines about social distancing and staying home where possible. For the last 20 years, our restaurants have been at the heart of your communities and it is important that we are now responsibly protecting those communities and our staff as best we can.”

“We will be giving leftovers to local food banks to help benefit those most in need during this challenging time.”

Earlier this week, the David-Page led group said it was working working with partners, landlords, HMRC and staff to reduce its outgoings to the basic minimum, and is confident it will thrive once the market returns to normal.