JOBS are set to be lost as a restaurant giant gears up to close 94 of its 300 UK outlets in April and May.
Italian restaurant Prezzo will close nearly a third of its branches in a new restructuring plan, including two in The News’ patch.
The chain – which owns other ventures – will close its two Chimichanga outlets at Port Solent and Whiteley, as staff at the sites join 500 employees across the brand set to be axed or placed at different restaurants.
Owned by private equity firm TPG Capital, Prezzo secured the backing of creditors for a so-called company voluntary arrangement (CVA) today – which will allow it to exit unprofitable branches and secure rent reductions.
Having worked with AlixPartners on the restructuring, the brand employs 4,500 people and also operates MEXIco and Cleaver.
The CVA proposal was backed by 88 per cent of creditors, including landlords.
Prezzo boss Jon Hendry-Pickup said: ‘I would like to thank our creditors and landlords for supporting our transformation plan.
‘While we continue to be profitable, the pressures on our industry have been well-documented.
‘Despite this being a tough decision, the support given today by our creditors shows that they believe we have the right approach to transforming Prezzo in the eyes of teams, customers and stakeholders.
‘It has been a challenging time during the CVA process and I would like to thank our suppliers, colleagues and customers for their patience and support.’
The news comes at a bleak time for the high street and the casual dining sector.
This year has also seen burger chain Byron and Jamie’s Italian undertake CVAs as they face increasing pressure from rising costs and falling consumer confidence.
Earlier this week, New Look agreed a restructuring plan with creditors that will see it shut 60 stores, resulting in the loss of up to 980 jobs.