Pizza Express is to recruit 1,000 new employees in preparation to reopen its restaurant in the months of May and June, and put the effects of coronavirus behind them.
The new hires, which are scheduled to be announced later today will follow a difficult time for the company, which was hit by the pandemic, had to close the doors of 73 stores through a corporate agreement of voluntary (CVA).
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The closures led to the loss of 1100 jobs and a further 1,300 redundancies were made as part of the cost-cutting measures.
The national recruitment campaign that spans the company’s 360 UK eateries will comprise 300 jobs under the federal government’s Kickstart initiative.
Pizza Express opened 118 outlets in the last week for dining al fresco on terraces and in gardens and the entire chain opening in June for indoor dining, in line with the restrictions. Customers are predicted to increase again on June 21 , as social distancing becomes more relaxed.
Pizza Express, which was established in Soho central London in 1965 by former Peter Boizot, was acquired by Beijing-based Hony Capital in 2014 in an PS873 million deal.
In November, as part of a restructuring, Hony retained the Chinese business, but transferred its keys over to remainder of the group in its bonds holder.
The total debt of the company fell between PS735 million down to PS319 million and it also received an immediate cash infusion that was PS40 million. In addition, the new owners put another PS90 million available to invest.
A new management team was also introduced The new management was also brought in, including Allan Leighton, the former Asda boss, taking over as chairman along with David Campbell, the erstwhile Wagamama chief executive, being appointed as chief executive of the group.
The closures that were announced last year under the CVA which is an insolvency procedure that allows operators to eliminate or revise leases with no economic value which included the first site located on Wardour Street, Soho, created by Boizot in 1956.