Pizza Express - Wikimedia Commons

Pizza Express ‘cuts a deal’ to reduce rent costs by closing sites

Pizza Express is to close 73 of its UK restaurants with the potential loss of 1,100 jobs. The chain, which at the moment has 454 UK outlets, said it had cut a deal to reduce rent costs. It said although most of its restaurants have been profitable over the past three years, earnings had been declining. Pizza Express also confirmed it had hired advisers from Lazard to lead a sale process for the business. It is currently majority owned by Chinese firm Hony Capital. Zoe Bowley, Pizza Express’s managing director…

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Wahaca logo, frontage and 'street kitchen'

CEO warns of post-lockdown “hell” for UK restaurants

“Starting up, it’s going to be hell,” says Mark Selby, chief executive and co-founder of Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca. “A lot of people are going be nervous about coming out. We’ve all got to do our jobs in making people feel confident, making them feel safe, but also giving them that experience that hospitality is.” Restaurants and pubs across the UK have been hard-hit by lockdown measures that were introduced in March in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus. In England, the hospitality industry expects to be…

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Photo by Rodrigo Sarsfield on Unsplash

Gyms face legal action over unpaid rent

Gym and leisure centre bosses say they face being evicted during the coronavirus crisis over non-payment of rent. Trade body UKActive said urgent action is needed to safeguard exercise venues as unscrupulous landlords use a loophole to threaten eviction. New rules to protect commercial tenants were introduced last month. But they don’t prevent landlords from taking steps to force tenants to pay rent withheld because of the lockdown. “A worrying number have decided to pursue statutory demand notices or winding up orders,” said Huw Edwards, chief executive of UKActive. “We…

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