As part of a restructuring plan to shore up finances, Pizza Express could close 67 restaurants which will put 1,100 jobs at risk.
The pizza chain are planning to launch a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) which could lead to around 15% of the UK restaurants closed from their 449 sites.
No final outcome has been made as yet and the restructuring plan is “yet to be decided,” and advisors have also been hired from Lazard to lead a sale process for the company.
Andy Pellington, group chief finance officer, said: “While we have had to make some very difficult decisions, none of which has been taken lightly, we are confident in the actions being taken to reduce the level of debt, create a more focused business and improve the operational performance, all of which puts us in a much stronger position.
“We can now plan to invest in both our UK&I and international businesses as well as support our teams as they return to work.”
Zoe Bowley, UK and Ireland managing director, said: “Our business has a long history of success, but the UK-wide lockdown has hit the hospitality industry particularly hard.
“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.”