Around 67 of Pizza Express UK restaurants are facing closure, with up to 1,100 jobs at risk, as part of a major restructuring plan.
The chain said it is replanning in a bid to push down its rents amid a ‘significantly more challenging environment’ after the coronavirus pandemic.
Though the outcome has yet to be decided, Pizza Express said it may end in the closure of around 15% of its 449 restaurants in the UK, affecting 1,100 staff.
The company added: “This decision is a very difficult one; however, against the current unprecedented backdrop, Pizza Express believes reducing the size of its estate will help it to protect 9,000 jobs.”
Pizza Express closed all its restaurants on 23rd March after the Government-mandated lockdown.
Zoe Bowley, UK and Ireland managing director, said: “Our business has a long history of success, but the UK-wide lockdown has hit the hospitality industry particularly hard.
“While the financial restructuring is a positive step forward, at the same time we have had to make some really tough decisions.
“As a result, it is with a heavy heart that we expect to permanently close a proportion of our restaurants, losing valued team members in the process.”