Pizza Hut has announced plans to shut 29 restaurants and cut hundreds of workers in a hammer blow for the industry.
The chain – which has 244 restaurants – confirmed that 450 jobs will be at risk.
The company is negotiating a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) restructuring deal after it faced “significant disruption” from the pandemic.
Pizza Hut put forward the proposals as “sales are not expected to fully bounce back until well into 2021” despite a quick and safe reopening of sites.
It added the move will not affect operations or jobs at Pizza Hut Delivery or related franchises.
A Pizza Hut Restaurants 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.
“While we are likely to see 29 Hut closures and 450 job losses, any measures we take aim to protect about 5,000 jobs at our remaining 215 restaurants, as well as the longevity of the business.
“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.”
The move is yet another devastating blow for the industry which has been hit hard by coronavirus.
Earlier this week Pizza Express confirmed its restructure and will close 73 restauarants and cull 1100 jobs.
Pizza Express currently operates 449 restaurants in the UK. The company closed all its UK restaurants on March 23 after the Government-mandated lockdown.
The company said that while it had been trading profitably before coronavirus struck, earnings had been declining for the past three years.