Thai restaurant chain Camile has told its landlords that it will halt the next rent payments due on its 31 outlets in Ireland and the UK to safeguard its business.
Camile is continuing to deliver food to customers following the closure of its restaurants' dining in, takeaway and collection services due to the COVID-19 crisis, however, the company's revenue has dropped 25%.
In a letter to Camile's landlords, the company's chief financial officer, Warren Codd, asked them for their understanding and co-operation as Camile halts "the next rental payment in order to safeguard [its] future".
Opening Negotiating Position
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Camile founder Brody Sweeney said that the letter was intended to be an opening negotiating position rather than a final step.
The Irish Times quotes Sweeney as saying, "We needed to communicate out, first of all, that things have changed, and we needed to have a discussion with our landlords.
"The starting position is that we have cancelled all our direct debits on our outlets in the Republic. But we are not expecting not to pay any rent. That's not reasonable at all."
Sweeney said that approximately half of the landlords who have been contacted have responded, and approximately half of those who have responded have allowed Camile to halt rent payments for a period while the rest said that the company is obliged to pay.
Sweeney stated that Camile is open to discussing the issue with landlords. He said, "We are not trying to profit from this situation, we're trying to preserve our cash."
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