Share and Follow
One of Australia’s best-known restaurant chains, Hog’s Breath Cafe, has closed two more locations – as its revealed almost half of its franchised stores have shut up shop in the past decade.
Two Hog’s Breath franchisees – in Tuggerah and Coffs Harbour NSW – went into liquidation on Friday after announcing ‘temporary’ closures, but then going bust.
It’s understood the Central Coast location struggled to regain momentum following the pressure of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in 2020 and 2021.
This coupled with the perfect storm of the rising cost of living, rising rent and reduced customer interest saw the closure of the NSW venues.
‘To our loyal customers, we are temporarily closed due to unforeseen circumstances. We apologise for any inconvenience,’ the Tuggerah venue wrote to social media on May 22.
The Coffs Harbour franchise posted a similar update to its pages, but said the restaurant would be ‘closed until further notice’.
Dozens of Hog’s Breath fans lamented the sudden closure of the stores with many reminiscing on times they spent at the restaurants with loved ones.
One of Australia’s most popular restaurant chains has closed two locations
Hog’s Breath Cafe in Tuggerah and Coffs Harbour reportedly entered liquidation on Friday, after ‘temporarily’ closing the venues in the lead up to going bust
‘Not sure where I’m meant to go to dinner now,’ one said.
‘Don’t be closed for too long, you know how I love my schnitzel,’ a second wrote.
A third shared: ‘Aw the memories, I love that place.’
Up to a dozen franchises have closed across Australia in the last 12 months.
Just six years ago, the brand had up to 80 flourishing venues, however in 2021 the number of stores almost halved to just 47 remaining locations.
In 2019, about a dozen stores were forced to close after its owners declared bankruptcy or lost valuable assets.
At the time, Hog’s Breath Cafe’s former chief executive Ross Worth said the company was facing its ‘toughest environment we’ve seen in 30 years’.
Mr Worth said there were a number of factors that led to the closure of multiple stores, including customer’s changing eating and drinking habits.
Hog’s Breath Cafe, which first opened in Airlie Beach in Queensland in 1989
‘In addition to a decrease in spending, consumers have also significantly changed their eating and shopping habits with the arrival of food delivery services and increasing prevalence in meal kits,’ he said.
‘We are also experiencing increases in operational costs with rising wages, raw food costs, rent and electricity.’
In 2020, pandemic pressures saw the closure of venues in Palmerston, Carindale, Albury and Canberra Civic between December and February, 2021.
The seven venues still operating in NSW are located in St Marys, Wagga Wagga, Orange, Penrith, Port Macquarie, Nelson Bay and Tamworth.
Across Australia, only 33 stores are still up and running. About half of the stores are located in Queensland, with the others spread across the rest of the country.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk