Casual dining group Pizza Express is working on proposals for a restructure that could see around 75 of its branches close, it has emerged.
Like rivals, the High Street chain had to shut sites in the UK in March when the Covid-19 lockdown came in.
Pubs and restaurants were only allowed to reopen in England on July 4, with social distancing measures in place. A number of hospitality businesses have warned that trade in central London remains difficult as numerous people are still working from home, and tourist footfall is low.
Pizza Express is reportedly looking at potential closures through a company voluntary arrangement, a restructure model that allows businesses to axe sites and get rent cuts across certain parts of their estates.
According to Sky News, Pizza Express is drawing up plans to close "around 75" of its 470 UK outlets.
The report pointed to sources that said the final number of proposed closures had yet to be arrived at, and would depend on how discussions progress with landlords.
Formal talks with landlords could start as soon as next week.
Pizza Express, which was bought in 2014 by Hony Capital, declined to comment.
Pizza Express and numerous restaurant chains were already facing headwinds prior to the coronavirus outbreak, including high business rates and wage bills.