The owner of High Street restaurant chains Café Rouge and Bella Italia has gone into administration.
Ninety one Casual Dining Group outlets will close immediately, and 1,900 of the firm’s 6,000 staff will lose their jobs.
Administrators Alix Partners are seeking offers for all or parts of the remaining business.
There have been thousands of job losses announced this week as the coronavirus continues to batter the UK economy.
Casual Dining Group, which also owns the Las Iguanas chain, said it hoped a new owner could save the firm.
“We are acutely aware of our duty to all employees and recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for them,” chief executive James Spragg said.
“Working alongside the administrators we will do everything we can to support them through this process with a view to preserving as much employment as we are able to.”
Joint administrator Clare Kennedy, of Alix Partners, said: “Our immediate priorities are to assist those whose employment has been affected by today’s announcement and to secure a sale for the group to protect jobs.”