Preston's Prezzo restaurant closes down permanently
Prezzo has closed its restaurant doors in Preston permanently, it has been confirmed.
The British-owned Italian cuisine chain said its branch at the Capitol Centre is one of 22 restaurants that will not reopen after lockdown.
The closures have led to 216 job losses - an average of 10 staff for each restaurant.
It leaves Lancashire without a Prezzo, with the nearest restaurants in Southport (Merseyside) and Bolton (Greater Manchester).
Its owners, private equity firm Cain International - which bought the chain in December - said it was forced to close the restaurants as part of a "pre-pack deal" with administrators to help cut overhead costs.
It said the closures were made to secure its future and protect the vast majority of Prezzo’s 2,900 team members’ jobs.
It is understood that the company filed for insolvency after failing to reach an agreement with landlords over rent payments.
Jonathan Goldstein, chief executive of Cain, said: “We firmly believe that strong hospitality businesses, such as Prezzo, have a bright future and will play an essential role in reviving the UK economy.
“However, to do so, we must get through this current crisis of mounting liabilities and no revenues.
“The lack of visibility on when and how the sector will reopen has heightened economic uncertainty to the point where decisive action had to be taken to secure the future of the business and the majority of jobs for Prezzo’s people.
“We are deeply sorry for all those affected by the permanent closure of the 22 non-viable restaurants.
“It was a difficult, but essential, decision to take but doing so will allow us to save thousands of jobs and create more in the future.”
Counting the cost of lockdown
All of the chain’s 178 restaurants are currently closed to customers due to the national coronavirus lockdown.
As of February 10, Prezzo’s restaurants had been able to operate for just 25 weeks out of the past 52 weeks but has seen fixed costs and rent accumulate, Cain International said.
It marks the second time that the firm has taken such action to secure its future.
Back in March 2018, the firm closed 94 of its restaurants after securing a deal with creditors for a CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement) which led to it shutting unprofitable branches and securing rent reductions.
The full list of Prezzo closures
Aberdeen Marishal Sq
Weston Super Mare
Milton Keynes Kingston Centre
London Marble Arch
Isle of Wight
London South Woodford