The future of a popular Fife restaurant is in doubt as its owner has signalled its intention to appoint administrators.
Casual Dining Group has filed the notice of intent at the High Court, putting 6,000 jobs at risk.
Among the company’s restaurants is Bella Italia, situated next to the Odeon cinema at Fife Leisure Park, on the outskirts of Dunfermline.
The group also owns the Café Rouge and Las Iguanas chains.
The move will give the firm 10 days breathing space to consider “all options” for restructuring.
The company confirmed that it is working with advisers from corporate finance firm AlixPartners over a potential restructuring programme aimed at putting the restaurant group on a sustainable footing.
A Casual Dining Group spokeswoman said: “As is widely acknowledged, this is an unprecedented situation for our industry and, like many other companies across the UK, the directors of Casual Dining Group are working closely with our advisers as we consider our next steps.
“These notifications are a prudent measure in light of the company’s position and the wider situation.
“These notifications will also protect the company from any threatened potential legal action from landlords while we review the detail of the Government advice, and formulate a plan for the company in these difficult times.”
The announcement comes amid reports that troubled rival chain Carluccio’s is closing on a rescue deal which could save 900 jobs at the business.
Restaurant chains have been hammered by the coronavirus pandemic after the Government-mandated lockdown forced them to shut their doors in March.
Leaders in the sector have warned that social distancing measures on reopening will significantly hinder profitability in the industry.
It is understood that a variety of arrangements are still being looked at by the Casual Dining Group, including company voluntary arrangement (CVA) restructuring deals or the administration of specific brands.
The group, which has furloughed the majority of its staff, traded from around 250 sites across the UK before the lockdown.
It is understood the group has seen profitability improve since it agreed a refinancing deal with US private equity firm KKR in 2018.
Meanwhile, the owner of rival chain Giraffe, Boparan Restaurants, is reportedly closing on a deal to buy Carluccio’s in a move which would save around 900 jobs.