The business, which includes 16 Gaucho sites and the 22-strong Cau chain, had been in last-ditch talks to secure a buyer.
But despite receiving bids from “a number of parties”, the group’s complex legal structure and high levels of debt meant directors could not find an “agreed, solvent solution”, a spokesperson said.
Gaucho said the “ongoing underperformance” at Cau, which has seen two years of declining sales, was also a factor in the decision.
“[The] directors have today [18 July] filed in court a Notice of Intention to Appoint an administrator for the business,” a Gaucho spokesperson said.
“Until such time as the administrator has been appointed and agreed plans with management, it is business as usual.”
Martin Williams, founder of M Restaurants and former managing director of Gaucho, said he had made a bid for the Gaucho and Cau brands, but his offer wasn’t “taken through to the last stages”.
Gaucho's owner Equistone acquired a majority stake in the chain for £100m in 2016.
The group's founder Zeev Godik stepped down in 2017 after 41 years at the company. He opened the first Gaucho in Amsterdam in 1976 and launched the group in London in 1994.
He was replaced in January by Oliver Meakin, former boss of Maplin Electronics - which itself fell in to administration in February.