MORE than 100 Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito restaurants could soon close in a bid to 'stabilise' its long-term future.

The Restaurant Group, which also owns Wagamama, said it has earmarked 42 sites that it plans to close in addition to the 76 Frankie & Benny's sites already identified earlier this year.

This follows an £87.7m pre-tax loss in the six months to June 30 - falling from a £12.2m profit in the previous year.

Frankie and Benny's have one restaurant in Widnes.

Bosses stressed that the sites will not be 'immediate' closures but will involve allowing leases to 'run out' at 'unattractive' locations.

Debbie Hewitt, non-executive chairman of The Restaurant Group, said: "We continue to focus on improving our brand offerings and delivering the best possible experience to our customers whilst optimising our leisure business to enhance the overall group performance.

"Prevailing feeling is that uncertainty is having an impact on consumer sentiment but we believe we have a sufficiently strong set of brands.

"Regarding Brexit, the supply of food and labour are the two issues we want clarity on and are working to ensure we are as prepared as possible."

It is not yet been revealed which sites will close.