PIZZA Express is shutting 73 restaurants, in a move that will see it close a fifth of all its UK branches.
The restaurant closures mean 1,100 jobs are now at risk of being axed.
Pizza Express confirmed the news in an update today after first proposing the restaurant closures and cut jobs in August 2020.
These plans have now been approved by 89% of the creditors it owes money to, after they voted in favour of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).
A CVA doesn't mean a company has gone bust – instead, it allows businesses that are struggling to look for cost-cutting ways to keep going.
But which restaurants will be shutting? We explain.
Which Pizza Express restaurants are closing?
Pizza Express, which first opened in 1965 and is owned by Chinese firm Hony Capital, has 355 restaurants open in the UK.
But Pizza Express has confirmed the following restaurants are closing for good as part of the CVA.
It hasn't, however, confirmed when they will shut, or if any of these restaurants are part of the 30 that have yet to reopen following the coronavirus lockdown.
The following branches are closing:
- Aberdeen – Belmont St
- Barnstaple – Three Tuns
- Birmingham – Corporation St
- Birmingham – Mailbox
- Bournemouth – Post Office Rd
- Bristol – Berkeley Sq
- Bristol – Regent St
- Bruton Place
- Charlotte St
- Dalton Park
- Dudley – Merry Hill
- Earls Court – Earls Ct Rd
- Edinburgh – Holyrood
- Fulham Palace Road
- Glasgow – Princes Square
- Hatch End
- Ipswich – Lloyds Ave
- Leeds – Crown St
- Leeds – Horsforth
- Melton Mowbray
- Milton Keynes – Hub
- New Brighton
- Newport – Isle of Wight
- Newport – South Wales
- Nottingham – Goosegate
- O2 Finchley
- Oxford – Oxford Castle
- Port Solent
- Reading – St Mary's Butts
- Sheffield – Devonshire St
- Sheffield The Moor
- Southport – Old Bank
- Wardour St
- Whiteley Village
Restaurant and food chain job losses
A NUMBER of high-profile restaurant and food chains have announced job cuts following the coronavirus crisis.
- Zizzi owner Azzurri Group announced in July 2020 that it would permanently shut 75 branches, putting 1,200 jobs at risk
- Frankie & Benny's owner The Restaurant Group has proposed closing 125 branches, with 3,000 jobs on the line
- Byron Burger is shutting 31 restaurants, around half of its UK sites, with 600 jobs at risk
- Bella Italia and Cafe Rougehave announced the closure of 91 restaurants, with 1,900 jobs to go
- Pret a Manger is cutting 2,800 jobs with 30 stores to close
- Costa Coffee is axing 1,650 jobs – it hasn't announced any store closures at this stage
- Upper Crust plans to make 5,000 out of its 9,000-strong workforce redundant
- Carluccio’s is cutting 1,000 jobs with 40 restaurants to shut
Why is Pizza Express shutting restaurants?
Pizza Express said its sales were hit by the temporary closure of all its restaurants due to lockdown.
The pizza chain confirmed it was briefly closing all its branches on March 23, including for takeaway and delivery.
But it says it's also been hit by the cost of reopening and confirmed it has a debt pile of £735million.
The CVA will see this reduced to £319million as the business sells off assets.
The chain was reported to be in financial difficulties in October 2019 after it ended the year with £1,122.5million worth of debt following a pre-tax loss of £55million.
At the time, it said increasing rates and rents had seen it grapple with costs, while it also struggled to keep up with a changing casual dining sector.
How many Pizza Express restaurants are open?
Pizza Express first started reopening restaurants for delivery services on May 19, starting with 13 in London.
It now has 325 branches open for business, with restaurants providing either delivery, takeaway or dine-in options.
Not all Pizza Express sites will offer each of these facilities, so be sure to check what yours has by using its restaurant finder tool.
Zizzi owner Azzurri Group has also announced restaurant closures, with plans to permanently shut 75 branches.
It comes after Frankie & Benny's owner The Restaurant Group unveiled plans to shut 125 sites.
And Byron Burger is shutting 31 restaurants; around half of its UK sites.
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