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Pizza Express to close 73 restaurants putting 1,100 jobs at risk

Written by on 19th August 2020

The company currently has more than 450 restaurants across the UK with 73 set to close.

PizzaExpress is a restaurant group based in the United Kingdom and owned by Chinese parent organisation Hony Capital.

The company said yesterday evening (18th August) it has finalised a proposal to reduce its restaurant and rental costs via a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).

The decision is blamed on the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, which means that around 16% of its sites will be closed.

It said that although the majority of its restaurants were profitable before lockdown was imposed, earnings had been declining across the Pizza Express estate for the last three years.

It added that the reduction in revenue caused by the enforced closure of all restaurants, the cost of reopening and the UK’s uncertain economic future meant its rental costs were no longer sustainable.

Zoe Bowley, Pizza Express’s managing director for the UK and Ireland, said: 

Unfortunately, the impact of the global pandemic has meant that we have had to make some incredibly tough decisions to safeguard Pizza Express for the long term.

Today we have confirmed that 73 of our pizzerias are proposed to close permanently.

Ms Bowley said that in most cases, the stores selected for closure are near to another Pizza Express that has already reopened or will be reopening soon.

She added that the process “will protect the jobs of over 9,000 of our colleagues”.

The Newport branch is just one of the restaurants to be included in the closures. Many other restaurants listed for closure are located across England, with some in Scotland.