Pizza Express is reportedly looking to axe 75 restaurants across the UK, with hundreds of jobs at risk.

The chain is drawing up plans to shut a significant number of its 470 outlets through a company voluntary arrangement, according to Sky News.

The broadcaster said the number could be marginally higher or lower than 75 but said it was unlikely to represent more than 20% of Pizza Express's UK business by number of outlets.

In any case, closures will most likely affect hundreds of people out of its 8,000-strong workforce.

A CVA would be used by Pizza Express to cut its rent obligations across much of the rest of its UK estate.

Mirror Money has contacted Pizza Express for a statement.

The dining sector is facing a cash crisis with landlords bearing the brunt of it

The announcement comes just weeks after The Casual Dining Group, which owns Bella Italia, Las Iguanas and Café Rouge, entered administration, with 1,900 jobs set to be axed.

Around 91 of 250 outlets will close permanently under the cuts.

In a similar move to Pizza Express, the chain said it will work with landlords to renegotiate rent costs across its estate.

Most of the closures affect the Café Rouge and Bella Italia brand, although 11 Las Iguanas outlets, three Belgo restaurants and several sites at airports will also shut.

Chief executive James Spragg said: "After reviewing all our options with advisors, it became clear that we needed to take this action in order to protect the business and secure the best possible future for Casual Dining Group as we look to conclude a potential sale."

Joint administrator Clare Kennedy of Alix Partners said: "Our immediate priorities are to assist those whose employment has been affected by today’s announcement and to secure a sale for the group in order to protect jobs and provide the group’s much-loved brands with a sustainable platform for the future."

Elsewhere, Frankie & Benny's bosses axed 125 stores with immediate effect last month.