Burger chain Byron could be closing up to 20 restaurants to save money, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

The company. which has more that 70 restaurants across the UK with around 1,800 staff members, is looking to agree a financial package including hefty discounts on rental costs.

By lowering its rental bill and possibly closing loss-making stores, the firm hopes to put itself on firmer financial ground.

Will Wright, restructuring partner at accountancy firm KPMG, which is handling the process, said: "Over the last 10 years, Byron has grown to become a stand-out name within the UK's casual dining sector.

"However, in recent times, certain parts of its portfolio have not met expectations, and with gathering economic headwinds starting to impact the sector more profoundly, the directors embarked upon a strategic review of the business as a means of safeguarding its long-term future."

KPMG said no restaurants will close immediately, and employees, suppliers and business rates will continue to be paid on time and in full.

If the deal is approved by creditors, who will vote at the end of the month, 51 Byron sites would keep their rental costs the same and five would have their rents reduced by a third.

A further 20 would have their rents cut by 45 per cent for six months while the group holds crunch talks with landlords over the future of these sites.

The good news is the only south London or Kent branch at risk of closure is Wandsworth.

The following restaurants are safe and not closing:




The O2





Northcote Road

Simon Cope, Byron chief executive, said: "Byron's core restaurant business and brand remain strong but the market that we operate in has changed profoundly.

"In order to continue serving our loyal customer base, we need to make some critical and difficult changes to the size and shape of our estate.

"I'm confident Byron will able to continue providing our consumers with the best burger experience."