The Hony Capital-owned Pizza Express is preparing to reopen over 150 of the restaurants across the UK by next month.

The restaurant chain will reopen 71 restaurants for dine-in next week and an additional 88 restaurants a week later on 6 August.

The reopening follows the successful ‘test and learn’ trials of delivery, click-and-collect and dine-in services implemented by the pizza chain at its select restaurants.

The restaurants will be reopened with new safety measures in place such as socially distanced layout, hand sanitiser stations, cleaning measures and health checks of team members.

The company has also rolled out a new online booking service, new digital menu and cashless payment services.

All reopened Pizza Express restaurants will be participating in the government’s Eat Out to Help Out initiative throughout next month.

Applicable from Monday to Wednesday between 3 and 31 August, the government’s scheme will cover half the cost of customers’ meals, up to £10 per person.

Pizza Express managing director Zoe Bowley said: “It has been very exciting to welcome customers back into our restaurants in the last fortnight and our teams are looking forward to reopening hundreds more pizzerias in the next few weeks.”

Pizza Express reopened 46 locations previously. The group expects to have a total of over 200 restaurants reopened for business by next month.

Last month, fast food restaurant chain McDonald’s announced plans to reopen 11 Roadchef service station restaurants for walk-in customers.

Earlier this month, another major fast-food chain Burger King warned that it could close up to 10% of its outlets in the UK due to the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.