PIZZA Express today revealed it could shut 67 of its UK restaurants with up to 1,100 jobs at risk as it becomes the latest business devastated by coronavirus.
The 55-year-old company, owned by Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital, has debts of £735million and has put itself up for sale after bringing in experts.
Bosses at the chain said they wanted to push down rents by closing about 15 per cent of its 449 restaurants in the UK, which would help protect 9,000 jobs.
The company closed all of its UK restaurants in March 20 after the Government-mandated lockdown, and has been gradually reopening them since July 9.
The news emerged on the second day of the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which Pizza Express signed up to, giving diners 50 per cent off meals out on Mondays to Wednesdays throughout August to help beleaguered restaurants.
They have yet to specify which Pizza Express restaurants will close.