American pizza chain Pizza Hut has confirmed plans to close 29 out of its 244 restaurants in the UK to overcome the business disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
A part of the chain’s restructuring efforts, the move is estimated to put at least 450 jobs at risk.
Pizza Hut said it is negotiating company voluntary arrangement (CVA) with lenders. CVA is an insolvency formality used to avoid putting a company into full administration and to re-negotiate debt repayments.
Even after the restaurants reopen, the company does not expect the sales to ‘fully bounce back’ until next year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic.
Pizza Hut is expected to reveal the details of affected branches later this week. The company said that the move would not affect jobs at Pizza Hut Delivery and other related franchises.
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It also added that measures could help save approximately 5,000 jobs at the rest of its UK restaurants.
A spokeswoman for the company said that the company is trying to ‘secure as many jobs as possible’ and is in talks with its creditors to reach an agreement.
In July, the company decided to permanently close down all 16 stores in Greece with immediate effect.
In April, Pizza Hut introduced a contactless kerbside pickup option at participating restaurants in the US in an effort to sustain the sales during the pandemic.
Recently, UK-based restaurant group Pizza Express announced plans to close 73 restaurants and cut 1,100 jobs.