Prezzo to shut 46 sites as soaring food inflation cuts deep

Italian casual dining chain, Prezzo is to close 46 sites across the UK, putting 810 jobs at risk, amid the cost of living crisis.

This news comes only two years after the company closed 22 restaurants and cut 216 jobs.

The business said the cuts, which are part of a broader strategic review, will affect sites where “the post-Covid recovery has proved harder than we had hoped”.

The management added the closures will impact some high street sites as its portfolio shifts more towards those “in better locations to cater to changing consumer habits” such as shopping centres, retail parks and tourist destinations.

Prezzo said its utility bills had more than doubled in a year, while the cost of spaghetti had risen by 40%. The cost of pizza sauce had risen by 28%, while diced mozzarella prices were up 18%.

Chief executive Dean Challenger said, “The last three years have been some of the hardest times I have ever seen for the high street and I’m extremely proud of the way our colleagues have retained Prezzo’s position as an appealing, trusted, great value food and drink experience.

“But the reality is that the cost-of-living crisis, the changing face of the high street and soaring inflation has made it impossible to keep all our restaurants operating profitably.

“We believe the tough decisions we are making today will ensure Prezzo can continue serving communities with high-quality, accessible Italian-inspired meals for many more years to come.”

The chain opened its first restaurant in 2000 in central London, eventually growing to 300 restaurants and 4,500 staff across the UK. However, even before the pandemic hit it had become clear Prezzo had overextended. In 2018, it closed 94 sites after reaching an agreement with creditors.

The restaurants due to close are:
Beccles, Billericay, Bolton, Borehamwood, Boston, Bracknell, Brentwood, Buckhurst Hill, Buckingham, Chichester, Chingford, Colchester, Corby, Didcot, Eastbourne, Egham, Eltham, Ely, Epsom, Fleet, Glasgow, St Vincent Place, Hailsham, Harpenden, Livingston, Lyndhurst, Maidstone, Mere Green, Mill Hill, Oxford, Plymouth, Redditch, Redhill, Rugby, Shepperton, Shirley, Sidcup, St Neots, Stowmarket, Tenterden, Tunbridge Wells, Weybridge, Whitstable, Wickford, Wimborne, Winchester, Woodford Green.