Sainsbury’s to open 30 more restaurant hubs with Boparan Restaurant Group as it transforms F&B offer: Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is to open 30 more restaurant hubs in partnership with Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), after announcing it is to shut 200 cafes in a shake-up of its in-store dining offer. The company said the move comes after a successful trial partnership with BRG, which operates the Caffe Carluccio’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Ed’s Diner and Slim Chickens brands, at its Selly Oak supermarket in Birmingham. The supermarket chain said it will also open 30 Starbucks sites across its supermarkets, as it seeks to overhaul its food and beverage offer across 250 stores over the next three years. This will include the closure of 200 in-store cafes, which is set to impact up to 2,000 jobs. The company said it is launching consultations with an undisclosed number of staff regarding plans to close less popular hot food counters in 34 stores and changes to how it runs bakeries in 54 stores. It said that workers affected by the closures will be prioritised for vacant roles in stores and will be encouraged to apply for jobs elsewhere in the business. The remaining 67 in-store cafes will stay open while the company continues to review changes to its dining operations. The company said the decision to close the cafes is a part of a wider move to transform its dining, takeaway and home delivery food and drink offer from stores. Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s chief executive officer, told the Press Association: “As we go through this period of transition, we have taken the difficult decision to close 200 of our cafes next month. We have spoken to all colleagues affected by these changes today and are absolutely committed to supporting them in any way we can during this uncertain time. Of course, we understand this is very unsettling for our colleagues, but we must keep adapting our business to make sure we are offering customers the best possible food and drink at affordable prices. We are totally focused on improving what we can deliver for our customers and at the same time, working hard to make our business simpler. We are really excited about this new customer offer that we will be rolling out over the next two to three years across many of our stores.” BRG launched its The Restaurant Hub offer at the Sainsbury’s superstore in Selly Oak Boulevard in Birmingham last summer. The Hub features five of its restaurant brands – Caffe Carluccio’s; Gourmet Burger Kitchen; Slim Chickens; Ed’s Easy Diner; and, in collaboration with Deep Blue Restaurants, Harry Ramsden’s. The Restaurant Hub is a 180-cover communal dining space allowing guests to mix and match dishes from any of the participating brands, for both dining-in and home delivery.