PizzaExpress is planning to close around 75 branches across the UK, putting hundreds of jobs at risk - according to reports.
Sky News has reported that the national chain is planning a restructure which will include closing around 75 of its 470 UK restaurants.
The chain would enter into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).
Sky News says that sources report the final number of closures has yet to be agreed but will be around 75.
The total number will depend on discussions with landlords over reducing rent costs - which will start next week.
One source told Sky the final number could be 'marginally higher or lower than 75'.
PizzaExpress employs 8,000 people.
Nigel Frith, a senior market analyst at www.asktraders.com said: "At a time where restaurants are supposed to be coming out of lockdown and taking part in the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, it's a shame to still see yet another chain axing jobs within the hospitality trade.
"This constant flow of unemployment within the hospitality industry is continuing to rise and rise and it's not surprising if there are hardly any restaurants left after the pandemic. It will be interesting to see if closing 75 stores will do any good for the chain - August might be the decider for Pizza Express
"Closing 75 out of 470 restaurants within the UK doesn't seem to much in the grand scheme of things, but when it comes to employees being out of work - the hospitality trade is hardly recruiting at this moment in time, for all we know it could be a lot more stores than we think. Pizza Express was struggling before the pandemic but it looks like this could be the final nail in the coffin"