Pizza Hut to close 29 restaurants, putting 450 jobs at risk

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The fast food chain is the latest firm to launch a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) during the coronavirus pandemic, as it seeks to cut rents and exit loss-making stores, according to reports.

Pizza Hut Restaurants, which is separate from Pizza Hut delivery, will ask landlords to agree to turnover-based rents, which would tie its rents to revenue levels at its 245 branches, Sky News reported.

The move makes Pizza Hut the latest casual dining chain to turn to insolvency proceedings due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month high street rival Pizza Express unveiled plans to close 73 restaurants, putting 1,100 jobs at risk, as part of a CVA.

The Casual Dining Group, which owns Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia owner Azzurri Group and Carluccio’s have all fallen into administration during the pandemic, although parts of their businesses were later rescued by new investors.

In a statement, a Pizza Hut Restaurants spokesperson said: “We are committed to doing the right thing and, in order to secure as many jobs as possible and continue serving our communities, we are working to reach an agreement with our creditors.

“We understand this is a difficult time for everyone involved.

“We appreciate the support of our business partners and are doing everything we can to help our team members during this process, including speaking with those affected by the consultation.”

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