Pizza Hut has announced plans to close more than one in 10 of its restaurants in Britain, putting around 450 jobs at risk.
The pizza chain confirmed 29 branches will shut across the UK as part of a restructuring deal, in the latest in a wave of closures and job losses to hit UK high streets since the coronavirus struck.
Details of affected branches are expected to be confirmed later this week.
The company said it is negotiating with lenders over a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), an insolvency procedure often used to avoid putting a company into full administration and re-negotiate debt repayments.
The Pizza Huts Restaurant Group, which runs the dine-in Pizza Hut franchise in the UK said COVID-19 had caused “significant disruption.” Sales are not expected to “fully bounce back” until next year despite it re-opening branches.
But the company said in a statement the measures could help save around 5,000 jobs at the rest of its 244 UK restaurants. Jobs at Pizza Hut Delivery and other linked franchises will not be affected.
It comes after another leading UK pizza chain, Pizza Express, also announced plans to close 73 restaurants this week. Around 1,100 jobs could be lost after it also reached a CVA deal.
A spokeswoman 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.”