Pizza Express cuts 1,300 UK jobs after trading worsens under Covid restrictions

The job losses come after restaurant closures were announced in August. Credit: PA

Pizza Express has announced it is cutting around 1,300 jobs across its UK restaurants after footfall dipped in the face of tightened coronavirus restrictions.

The restaurant chain said roles will be cut from its 370 UK restaurants through both compulsory and voluntary redundancies.

It said the decision will help it manage the challenges this winter and beyond as it expects trade to remain lower than usual.

Pizza Express managing director Zoe Bowley said: "Our aim throughout these extremely challenging times has been to keep our team members and customers safe, and to retain jobs for as long as possible.

"As a leading employer in our sector, we see every day how this pandemic is having a profound impact on our industry, our business and on people’s lives.

“Unfortunately, the recent increase in Covid-19 cases is again causing footfall to decline across the UK.

"As this is expected to continue for some months, we sadly need to make changes that will impact more of our team members.

“Our people remain at the heart of our business and we are doing what we can to support those who are affected.

"We believe that this difficult decision will give us more resilience through the next six months and help us to continue serving our customers in our restaurants and at home in the years ahead."

The move comes months after the company said it was to close 73 of its restaurants risking 1,100 jobs and the new losses come on top of this.

Announcing the closures in August, the pizza chain said earnings had been declining for the last three years.