Pizza Express could close 67 restaurants with up to 1,100 jobs at risk

Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen

Pizza Express 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.

It has become the latest hospitality firm to warn of job losses, after Byron Burger last week announced it was closing 31 of its 51 stores and axing 651 jobs.

Pizza Express also said it had put itself up for sale after bringing in experts.

  • Video report by ITV News Political reporter Shehab Khan

The sale will be run independently to its other plans and was started on Tuesday, Pizza Express revealed. Separately, it announced plans to sell its business in mainland China and has brought in restructuring experts to help deal with its £735 million debts. UK and Ireland managing director Zoe Bowley said: “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. “This is incredibly sad for our Pizza Express family and we will do everything we can to support our teams at this time. “As we continue to reopen our restaurants for dine-in and delivery, we will successfully navigate the extended period of social distancing expected in the months ahead and, in so doing, protect 9,000 jobs. “The initial signs from the restaurants that have been reopened have been very encouraging and we hope that our loyal customers continue to support us now more than ever.”