A RESTAURANT in the Oracle has announced its closure following the collapse of the company.

Handmade Burger Company has now closed its restaurant by The Oracle riverside after the company announced today (January 23) that it has gone bust, with the 18 restaurants shutting down across the UK.

This has cost 283 people their jobs.

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The restaurant in Reading can be seen completely abandoned, with a notice sign on the door stating it’s closure.

An Oracle spokesman said: "Following the announcement that Handmade Burger Co has gone into administration, we can confirm that the unit in The Oracle has closed.

"We’ve welcomed some incredible new brands to the destination over the past twelve months and we’ll continue to build on that in 2020.

"We’ve got some exciting plans for the unit, and we can’t wait to update people soon."

The company had nine restaurant closures in 2017 due to a new administration but a buyer was found allowing the firm to continue running.

Administrators at insolvency specialists Leonard Curtis said that sales have dived at the chain in recent years, making its future unsustainable.

Joint administrator David Griffiths said: "The casual dining market in the UK has experienced significant challenges over the last four years, largely as a result of overcapacity in the sector, which has resulted in a significant number of insolvencies.

"Sales at Handmade Burger Co restaurants have almost halved during this period, which has proved to be unsustainable.

"It is disappointing that circumstances have meant that a sale of the business has not been possible in this case, but our focus now should be on those employees affected by this difficult news.

"We will work hard to provide them with all necessary assistance to claim for monies which remain due to them."

Handmade Burger Co's demise comes after a torrid year for chains in the casual dining sector.

The most high-profile recent failure was Jamie Oliver's restaurant empire, which saw the loss of 1,000 jobs when it collapsed in May.

Figures compiled for the PA news agency by the Centre for Retail Research revealed there were 11,280 job losses in the casual dining sector in 2019 - up 8% on the previous year.