The owner of Pizza Hut restaurants in the UK will go ahead with plans to shut 29 sites, putting 450 jobs at risk, after creditors voted through an agreement to try to save the pandemic-hit business.
Pizza Hut Restaurants, the brand’s biggest franchise arm in the UK, has agreed a reduction in rent and bills with its landlords and other creditors through a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).
The CVA will not affect Pizza Hut’s delivery operations, which are operated separately. The UK restaurants are run under a franchise arrangement with Yum! Brands, the S&P 500 company that is also the owner of the KFC and the Mexican-themed Taco Bell chains.
The closures will be spread across much of the UK, with branches in London, Glasgow and Cardiff among those affected. However, the deal will save the jobs of more than 5,000 workers, a spokeswoman said.
Pizza Hut Restaurants ran 244 branches across the UK before the coronavirus pandemic hit, employing 5,700 people. However, it was forced to shut all its restaurants during the UK’s lockdown and the sector has been forced to contend with further restrictions across the UK’s nations.
Many of Pizza Hut’s competitors in the casual dining sector have also pursued similar closures, including Pizza Express, Azzurri Group, the owner of Ask Italian and Zizzi, Carluccio’s and the Casual Dining Group, which owns Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas.
Pizza Hut Restaurants first hired advisers during the summer as it looked at options to restructure its debts despite saying that it had entered the lockdown in a “place of strength”.
A Pizza Hut Restaurants spokeswoman said: “We are delighted to have reached such a constructive position in partnership with our landlords and creditors.
“We appreciate the support of everyone involved and this outcome provides us with a strong platform to secure the long-term future of the business including over 5,000 jobs and over 200 restaurants.
“Our focus is now business as usual supporting all of our team members and continuing to provide a Covid-safe restaurant experience for our guests.”
Full list of Pizza Hut closures
Cambridge (Regent St)
Glasgow (Great Western retail park)
Maidenhead (Grenfell Island)
Oxford (George Street)
Dunstable (White Lion retail park)
Bury St Edmunds
Chelmsford (Moulsham St)
Leyton Mill, London E10
Sheffield (Penistone Rd)
Sheffield (High St)
Croydon (North End)
Maidstone (King St)
Gravesend (Imperial Park)
Brighton (city centre)
Cardiff (Culverhouse Cross)
Stratford, London E15