Pizza Express to slash another 1,300 jobs

By Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter
·2-min read

Pizza Express has said it is cutting around 1,300 more jobs across its 370 UK restaurants after recent trading worsened in the face of tightened restrictions.

The move comes just two months after the restaurant chain revealed plans to axe 1,100 roles and close 73 of its restaurants.

It said no further restaurant sites will shut as part of its latest cuts, which will see job losses spread across restaurants.

The chain said its city centre sites have been “particularly hard-hit” by a recent slump in footfall, although a number of suburban and out-of-town locations have seen more resilient trading.

Pizza Express said its takeaway, delivery and retail operations have “performed strongly” this year, but said customer demand to dine in at restaurants has been “more variable, particularly in recent weeks”.

It said it has seen sales impacted since trading restrictions have been introduced, such as the 10pm curfew and local lockdown rules.

The chain’s restaurants had already seen seating capacity cut by 25% to allow for social distancing, it added.

Zoe Bowley, managing director at Pizza Express, 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.

Pizza Express
Pizza Express said there would be no further closures as part of its latest restructuring move (Yui Mok/PA)

“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.”

Last month, Pizza Express creditors approved a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructuring deal, which it said would heavily reduce its debt pile and plough £144 million of new funding into the company.