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Coronavirus: Pizza Express to close 73 restaurants with 1,100 jobs at risk

Lianna Brinded
·Head of Yahoo Finance UK
·2 mins read
General view of a branch of Pizza Express in London, as the restaurant chain has said it could close around 67 of its UK restaurants, with up to 1,100 jobs at risk, as part of a major restructuring plan. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
Pizza Express is closing 73 UK restaurants. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images

Popular chain Pizza Express upped the number of UK restaurants it is closing — to 73, from 67 — putting 1,100 jobs at risk as it implements a sweeping restructuring process to battle the impact of coronavirus.

The group said while most of its 454 restaurants have been profitable over the past three years, earnings have been declining and the impact of COVID-19 has exacerbated issues.

Pizza Express said it has also cut a deal to reduce rent costs and it has hired advisers from Lazard to lead a sale process for the business, which is majority owned by Chinese firm Hony Capital.

"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," said Zoe Bowley, Pizza Express' managing director for the UK and Ireland.

READ MORE: UK inflation surged in July as lockdown measures were eased

Hospitality has been one of the hardest hit sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. Around 80% of hospitality firms stopped trading in April, with 1.4 million people in accommodation and food services furloughed, according to the Treasury, the highest of any sector.

The UK government launched the Eat Out to Help Out scheme to help the hospitality industry boost its economic recovery.

It gives diners a 50% discount at participating restaurants and pubs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August, to a maximum of £10 per head to encourage people to eat out.

However, for some restaurants or cafes, it’s too little, too late after months of shuttered venues and no sales to help pay rent or bills.

Here are all the Pizza Express restaurants that are set to close:

Aberdeen, Belmont St

Aylesbury

Barnstaple, Three Tuns

Biggleswade

Billericay

Birmingham, Corporation St

Birmingham, Mailbox

Bournemouth, Post Office Road

Bramhall

Bristol, Berkeley Square

Bristol, Regent Street

Bromsgrove

Bruton Place, London

Charlotte Street, London

Chippenham

Dalton Park

Darlington

Dudley, Merry Hill

Earls Court, Earls Court Road, London

Edinburgh, Holyrood

Formby

Fulham Palace Road, London

Glasgow, Princes Square

Glossop

Gosforth

Grantham

Halifax

Hampstead, London

Hatch End

Hereford

Heswall

Ipswich, Lloyds Avenue

Leeds, Crown Street

Leeds, Horsforth

Ludlow

Lymington

Melton Mowbray

Midhurst

Milton Keynes, Hub

Moseley

New Brighton

Newcastle

Newport, Isle of Wight

Newport, South Wales

Northallerton

Nottingham, Goosegate

O2 Finchley, London

Orpington

Oxford, Oxford Castle

Poole

Port Solent

Ramsgate

Reading, St Mary's Butts

Scarborough

Sheffield, Devonshire Street

Sheffield, The Moor

Shirley

Southport, Old Bank

Stafford

Staines

Stoke

Stourbridge

Sudbury

Torquay

Uxbridge

Wakefield

Walsall

Wapping

Wardour Street, London

Weston-super-Mare

Whiteley Village

Whitstable

Wrexham