Pizza Express shuts 73 restaurants and axes 1.100 jobs in new blow to high street

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Pizza Express has unveiled plans to shut down nearly a fifth of Pizza Express, which is majority-owned by Chinese firm Hony Capital in a financial restructuring which will put 1.100 jobs at risk.

It, which currently runs around 454 stores in the UK, announced Tuesday it had finalised a proposal for reducing its dining and lease costs, through a voluntary agreement of the company (CVA).

The casual dining chain said it hopes to shift some of those employees affected by the company's voluntary contract (CVA) first unveiled by Sky News, which is also aimed at lowering rents in much of its remaining store facilities.

She added that losses in turnover brought about by forced closures of all restaurants, the costs of reopening and the uncertain economic future of Britain had left rent levels unsustainable.

UK & France managing director Zoe Bowley said "unbelievably hard decisions" had to be made to secure Pizza Express' fate over the long term.

Although most restaurants were profitable before the shutdown, revenues went down over the last three years, the department said.

Pizza Express, majority-owned by China-based company Hony Capital, announcing it had also put the business up for sale.

Ms Bowley said stores selected for closing will often be next to another Pizza Express which has been reopening and is likely to open shortly.