Pizza Hut has announced plans to close nearly 30 restaurants, in a restructuring scheme that puts about 450 jobs at risk.
The Italian chain will shut 29 of its 244 UK branches, making it the latest in a series of high street restaurant brands to make major cuts amid the coronavirus crisis.
The Pizza Hut Restaurants group said it put forward the proposals because ‘sales are not expected to fully bounce back until well into 2021’ – despite a quick and safe reopening of sites. It said it is negotiating a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) restructuring deal in the wake of ‘significant disruption’ caused by the pandemic.
It follows more bad news for staff at Italian restaurant chains, after Pizza Express said last month it would close 73 restaurants, putting 1,100 jobs at risk.
That came after Zizzi and Ask’s owner said 75 restaurants would also close, leaving another 1,200 people potentially out of work.
Pizza Hut added that its move will not affect operations or jobs at Pizza Hut Delivery or related franchises.
A spokeswoman said: ‘We are committed to doing the right thing and, in order to secure as many jobs as possible and continue serving our communities, we are working to reach an agreement with our creditors.
‘While we are likely to see 29 Hut closures and 450 job losses, any measures we take aim to protect about 5,000 jobs at our remaining 215 restaurants, as well as the longevity of the business.’
She continued: ’We understand this is a difficult time for everyone involved.
‘We appreciate the support of our business partners and are doing everything we can to help our team members during this process, including speaking with those affected by the consultation.’
The company did not reveal which branches would close.