Pizza Express will permanently shut 73 restaurants and put 1,100 jobs at risk after restructuring plans were approved by creditors.
The chain said 89 per cent of its creditors voted for its Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructuring deal, which will also see it secure rent reductions.
It needed a minimum of 75 per cent of creditors to vote in favour of the deal to give it the green light.
The closures will affect one in six of its UK sites.
Last month, Pizza Express said the slump in revenue caused by the enforced closure of all restaurants during the pandemic, the cost of reopening, and the UK’s uncertain economic future meant its rental costs were no longer sustainable.
Pizza Express (file image) will permanently shut 73 restaurants and put 1,100 jobs at risk after restructuring plans were approved by creditors
The chain said 89 per cent of its creditors voted for its Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructuring deal, which will also see it secure rent reductions (file image)
Last month, Pizza Express said the slump in revenue caused by the enforced closure of all restaurants during the pandemic, the cost of reopening, and the UK’s uncertain economic future meant its rental costs were no longer sustainable (file image)
Is your local Pizza Express earmarked for permanent closure?
Pizza Express has said it will push forward with plans to close 73 restaurants and cut around 1,100 jobs after restructuring plans were approved by creditors.
The following sites have been earmarked for permanent closure:
Aberdeen – Belmont St
Barnstaple – Three Tuns
Birmingham – Corporation St
Birmingham – Mailbox
Bournemouth – Post Office Rd
Bristol – Berkeley Sq
Bristol – Regent St
Dudley – Merry Hill
Earls Court – Earls Ct Rd
Edinburgh – Holyrood
Fulham Palace Road
Glasgow – Princes Square
Ipswich – Lloyds Ave
Leeds – Crown St
Leeds – Horsforth
Milton Keynes – Hub
Newport – Isle of Wight
Newport – South Wales
Nottingham – Goosegate
Oxford – Oxford Castle
Reading – St Mary’s Butts
Sheffield – Devonshire St
Sheffield The Moor
Southport – Old Bank
It is the latest in a raft of chains, including Zizzi-owner Azzurri Group, Byron Burger, and Frankie & Benny’s owner The Restaurant Group, to shut sites after being hit by the lockdown.
Pizza Express said it currently has 355 restaurants are currently open in the UK, with more than 30 due to reopen in the coming weeks.
The restructuring will also see a significant de-leveraging on the group’s external debt, reducing it from £735 million to £319 million.
Around £144 million of new funds will be pumped into the business to drive future growth.
In a statement, Pizza Express said: ‘The successful vote unlocks the company’s ability to actively address the challenges brought by Covid-19, securing over 9,000 jobs in the UK.
‘The directors of Pizza Express thank its creditors for their support during this period and look forward to ongoing partnership as the hospitality industry recovers to growth.’
The company, which is majority-owned by Chinese firm Hony Capital, also confirmed last month that it had hired advisers from Lazard to lead a sale process for the business.
Just last week it was revealed that 1,650 jobs are at risk at Cafe chain Costa as it looks to cut costs amid continued uncertainty over when trade will fully recover following the pandemic.
It told staff on Thursday that it has started consultations which could impact more than a 10th of roles.
The move comes a week after rival Pret A Manger revealed it was slashing 2,800 roles as part of a restructure of its UK business.
Costa closed nearly all of its 2,700 UK stores for six weeks during the pandemic but had now reopened around 2,400 sites.
The Coca Cola-owned chain said trade is ‘returning’ after being boosted by the Government’s VAT reduction on food and non-alcoholic drinks and the recent Eat Out to Help Out scheme.
However, it said the proposed job cuts had been driven by ‘high levels of uncertainty as to when trade will recover to pre-Covid levels’.
Neil Lake, managing director for Costa Coffee UK and Ireland, said on September 3: ‘Today’s announcement to our store teams was an extremely difficult decision to make.
‘Our baristas are the heart of the Costa business and I am truly sorry that many now face uncertainty following today’s news.
‘We have had to make these difficult decisions to protect the business and ensure we safeguard as many jobs as possible for our 16,000 team members, whilst emerging stronger ready for future growth.
‘As a proud member of the UK high street, we remain committed to the role Costa plays in supporting the economic recovery of the country, but today I want to say a huge thank you to all of our team members that are affected by this announcement and we will be supporting you throughout this process.’
The company said when reviewing roles within stores, a number of options were reviewed prior to making the difficult decision to launch a consultation.
It said Costa had made the difficult decision to freeze all pay increases within the Support Centre and cut all non-essential expenditure.
It added that Costa will seek to find those at-risk alternative roles within the business where possible, and for those leaving the business, support will be provided to help with the transition to new employment.
Last month, Pret a Manger axed 2,800 roles from its shops
In a statement, chief executive Pano Christou said the coronavirus pandemic ‘has taken away almost a decade of growth at Pret’.
He added that the popular cafe franchise had ‘managed to protect many jobs’ but is ‘gutted that we’ve had to lose so many colleagues’.
Mr Christou said: ‘Although we’re now starting to see a steady but slow recovery, the pandemic has taken away almost a decade of growth at Pret.
‘We’ve managed to protect many jobs by making changes to the way we run our shops and the hours we ask team members to work.
A report by the CBI found the employment balance, which measures the number of retailers laying off and hiring staff over the past year, had dropped to minus 45 per cent in August from minus 20 per cent in May.
Just last week it was revealed that 1,650 jobs are at risk at Cafe chain Costa as it looks to cut costs amid continued uncertainty over when trade will fully recover following the pandemic (file image)
The figures, which are the lowest level the country has seen since February 2009, also revealed an unexpected slump in retail sales in August with its balance falling to minus 6 per cent from 4 per cent in July.
It was revealed that the retail bloodbath has claimed or put under threat at least 41,391 UK jobs since the lockdown was introduced in late March.
It follows mounting warnings of mass unemployment when the Government’s worker furlough scheme comes to an end in October.
The retail sector is among those which have leaned heavily on the scheme since lockdown forced vast swathes of the high street to shut.
Non-essential shops have been able to re-open since June, but many retailers have had to close shops and cut staff as shoppers continue to shun the high street.
Marks & Spencer added to the pain in the retail sector, announcing 7,000 job losses last week.
Coffee and sandwich chain Pret a Manger confirmed it has axed 2,800 roles from its shops (file image)
The London-based retail giant revealed the bulk of the cuts would be made across its stores, hitting around 12 per cent of its 60,000 shop-based staff, as well as a smaller number of support centre and regional management workers.
M&S, which employs 85,000 people worldwide, said it expected a ‘significant’ number of roles would be cut through voluntary departures and early retirement.
Alpesh Paleja, lead economist at the CBI, said: ‘The furlough scheme has proved effective at insulating workers and businesses in some of the worst-hit sectors during the pandemic, but these findings reinforce fears that many job losses have been delayed rather than avoided.’
He added: ‘Trading conditions for the retail sector remain tough, even against the backdrop of business slowly returning.
‘Firms will be wary of deteriorating household incomes and the risk of further local lockdowns potentially hitting them in the pocket for a second time.’
How more than 190,000 jobs have now been lost or are at risk amid the coronavirus pandemic
Costa has become the latest employer to warn that large numbers of jobs are at risk.
Last week, the Co-operative Bank said it plans to cut around 350 jobs.
It follows cuts of around 7,000 roles announced by retail giant M&S last week, with mass redundancies also on the horizon at the likes of John Lewis, sushi chain Yo! and clothing store River Island.
And around 14,000 jobs could be on the brink at struggling department store Debenhams, with plans to liquidate the business being drawn up in case other options for saving the company – such as selling it – fall through.
Here are the major potential job losses announced since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed on March 23:
- September 3 – Costa – 1,650
- September 2 – Heathrow – 1,200
- August 25 – Co-operative bank – 350
- August 20 – Alexander Dennis – 650
- August 18 - Bombardier – 95
- August 18 – M&S – 7,000
- August 17: easyJet: 670
- August 17: Jet2: 102
- August 16: Debenhams: 14,000 at risk
- August 14 – John Lewis – 399 at risk
- August 14 – Yo! Sushi – 250
- August 14 – River Island – 350
- August 12 – NatWest – 550
- August 11 – InterContinental Hotels – 650 worldwide
- August 11 – Debenhams – 2,500
- August 7 – Evening Standard – 115
- August 6 – Travelex – 1,300
- August 6 – Wetherspoons – 110 to 130
- August 5 – M&Co – 380
- August 5 – Arsenal FC – 55
- August 5 – WH Smith – 1,500
- August 4 – Dixons Carphone – 800
- August 4 – Pizza Express – 1,100 at risk
- August 3 – Hays Travel – up to 878
- August 3 – DW Sports – 1,700 at risk
- July 31 – Byron – 651
- July 30 – Pendragon – 1,800
- July 29 – Waterstones – unknown number of head office roles
- July 28 – Selfridges – 450
- July 27 – Oak Furnitureland – 163 at risk
- July 23 – Dyson – 600 in UK, 300 overseas
- July 22 – Mears – fewer than 200
- July 20 – Marks & Spencer – 950 at risk
- July 17 – Azzurri Group (owns Zizzi and Ask Italian) – up to 1,200
- July 16 – Genting – 1,642 at risk
- July 16 – Burberry – 150 in UK, 350 overseas
- July 15 – Banks Mining – 250 at risk
- July 15 – Buzz Bingo – 573 at risk
- July 14 – Vertu – 345
- July 14 – DFS – up to 200 at risk
- July 9 – General Electric – 369
- July 9 – Eurostar – unknown number
- July 9 – Boots – 4,000
- July 9 – John Lewis – 1,300 at risk
- July 9 – Burger King – 1,600 at risk
- July 7 – Reach (owns Daily Mirror and Daily Express newspapers) – 550
- July 6 – Pret a Manger – 1,000 at risk
- July 2 – Casual Dining Group (owns Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge) – 1,909
- July 1 – SSP (owns Upper Crust) – 5,000 at risk
- July 1 – Arcadia (owns TopShop) – 500
- July 1 – Harrods – 700
- July 1 – Virgin Money – 300
- June 30 – Airbus – 1,700
- June 30 – TM Lewin – 600
- June 30 – Smiths Group – ‘some job losses’
- June 25 – Royal Mail – 2,000
- June 24 – Jet2 – 102
- June 24 – Swissport – 4,556
- June 24 – Crest Nicholson – 130
- June 23 – Shoe Zone – unknown number of jobs in head office
- June 19 – Aer Lingus – 500
- June 17 – HSBC – unknown number of jobs in UK, 35,000 worldwide
- June 15 – Jaguar Land Rover – 1,100
- June 15 – Travis Perkins – 2,500
- June 12 – Le Pain Quotidien – 200
- June 11 – Bombardier – 600
- June 11 – Johnson Matthey – 2,500
- June 11 – Centrica – 5,000
- June 10 – Quiz – 93
- June 10 – The Restaurant Group (owns Frankie and Benny’s) – 3,000
- June 10 – Monsoon Accessorise – 545
- June 10 – Everest Windows – 188
- June 8 – BP – 10,000 worldwide
- June 8 – Mulberry – 375
- June 5 – Victoria’s Secret – 800 at risk
- June 5 – Bentley – 1,000
- June 4 – Aston Martin – 500
- June 4 – Lookers – 1,500
- May 29 – Belfast International Airport – 45
- May 28 – Debenhams (in second announcement) – ‘hundreds’ of jobs
- May 28 – EasyJet – 4,500 worldwide
- May 26 – McLaren – 1,200
- May 22 – Carluccio’s – 1,000
- May 21 – Clarks – 900
- May 20 – Rolls-Royce – 9,000
- May 20 – Bovis Homes – unknown number
- May 19 – Ovo Energy – 2,600
- May 19 – Antler – 164
- May 15 – JCB – 950 at risk
- May 13 – Tui – 8,000 worldwide
- May 12 – Carnival UK (owns P&O Cruises and Cunard) – 450
- May 11 – P&O Ferries – 1,100 worldwide
- May 5 – Virgin Atlantic – 3,150
- May 1 – Ryanair – 3,000 worldwide
- April 30 – Oasis Warehouse – 1,800
- April 29 – WPP – unknown number
- April 28 – British Airways – 12,000
- April 23 – Safran Seats – 400
- April 23 – Meggitt – 1,800 worldwide
- April 21 – Cath Kidston – 900
- April 17 – Debenhams – 422
- March 31 – Laura Ashley – 268
- March 30 – BrightHouse – 2,400 at risk
- March 27 – Chiquito – 1,500 at risk.
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