CHIQUITO'S restaurant in Trowbridge appears to have escaped the axe being wielded by its parent company, The Restaurant Group plc.

A manager for the outlet in St Stephen's Place, Trowbridge, says the restaurant is not earmarked for closure.

The manager, who did not wish to be named, said: "I am not allowed to say anything but we are not closing. You'll have to speak to head office. There is nothing else I can give out."

London-based TRG owns more than 650 restaurants and pub restaurants serving the UK casual dining out market.

The group says it has identified a further 42 "structurally unattractive" restaurants in its leisure division which it may look to close in future.

It is understood most of the structurally unattractive restaurants are under the Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito brands.

TRG will close at least 88 of its Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito branches over the next six years, and nearly 100 more longer term after it tumbled to a £79 million first-half loss.

TRG says it is not committing to shutting all of these sites with “any immediacy" but will continue to explore market opportunities to close them earlier where possible.

TFG also runs Coast to Coast, Garfunkel’s, Filling Station, Firejacks and Joe’s Kitchen as part of its leisure arm.

It brought Wagamama in a £559 million deal last year and also runs 82 separate pub restaurants and 70 concession sites.

A TRG spokesman said: “As leases do come up for renewal, we will take a considered and disciplined approach., on a case by case basis,

“When and if we do close sites we will always look to redeploy staff to other sites within our portfolio.”

TRG has already closed 16 sites in the first eight months of 2019, including 10 Frankie & Benny’s, four Chiquito’s, one Coast to Coast, and one Garfunkel, reducing its Leisure estate to 352 sites.

The group said it was struggling with ‘retail structural decline’ and ‘saturated local markets’ in the six months to June 30 2019.