Hundreds of jobs to go as restaurant chain Prezzo axes nearly 100 branches

Prezzo, top, is closing its branch at Dalton Park, below.
Prezzo, top, is closing its branch at Dalton Park, below.

A restaurant open less than two years is to shut as part of nearly 100 closures by the troubled Prezzo chain.

The branch at Dalton Park retail park, in Murton, will be axed as part of a nationwide "restructuring plan" by the brand's venture capital owners.

Ninety-four of Prezzo's 300 outlets will close with around 500 jobs understood to be in the firing line.

Many staff will be redeployed at other restaurants although the nearest branch locally is around 15 miles north in Newcastle city centre.

The Dalton Park Prezzo opened less than two years ago as part of a £45m expansion which heralded the arrival of big names to the retail park such as Frankie & Benny’s, Pizza Express and the seven-screen Cineworld cinema.

The company, owned by private equity firm TPG Capital, secured the backing of creditors for a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to allow the Italian-themed chain to close unprofitable premises and secure rent reductions.

Prezzo boss Jon Hendry-Pickup said: "I would like to thank our creditors and landlords for supporting our transformation plan.

"While we continue to be profitable, the pressures on our industry have been well documented.

"Despite this being a tough decision, the support given today by our creditors shows that they believe we have the right approach to transforming Prezzo in the eyes of teams, customers and stakeholders.

"It has been a challenging time during the CVA process and I would like to thank our suppliers, colleagues and customers for their patience and support."

The 94 restaurants are likely to shut in April and May,