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Papa John’s Pizza To Close Around 43 Of Its UK Branches

Pizza chain Papa John’s has announced the closure of nearly a tenth of its UK restaurants, citing underperformance as the primary reason.

The decision to close 43 sites follows a comprehensive review of the business, which highlighted locations that were deemed “no longer financially viable.”

Chris Phylactou, UK managing director, emphasized the company’s commitment to supporting affected team members throughout the process. “Our priority is our team members, who will be fully supported throughout this process,” he stated. “Our goal is to work with impacted team members and attempt to find redeployment opportunities where available.”

The closures, all situated in England, from Harrogate, North Yorkshire, to St Helens, Merseyside, Billericay, Essex, and Eastbourne, East Sussex, target sites identified as underperforming and financially unsustainable.

In a parallel development, Revolution Bars Group, which owns Revolucion de Cuba, hinted at the possibility of selling off “all or part of the group.” This announcement follows reports indicating a potential closure of around 20 bars, or approximately a quarter of its outlets.

The hospitality industry has faced various challenges in recent years, yet the takeaway sector continues to thrive. According to PwC, last year witnessed a net increase of 151 chain takeaway shops. Kien Tan, senior retail adviser at PwC, noted the growing consumer demand for takeaways and the affordability they offer compared to dining out.

Papa John’s had previously signaled its intention to strategically close certain outlets to reallocate resources for investment and profitability enhancement at its remaining UK sites. The chain plans to extend its presence into non-traditional locations like holiday parks, with plans to announce new retail partnerships in the coming months.

Despite the closure announcements, both Papa John’s and Revolution Bars remain committed to long-term growth and strategic improvements. Revolution Bars, in particular, has been grappling with external challenges affecting trading and is actively exploring strategic options to bolster future prospects, including potential restructuring or sale.

While new retail openings, particularly in sectors like coffee drive-throughs and fast food, have been observed, they have not offset closures entirely. PwC’s analysis indicates a net decrease of 5,000 stores across the UK, reflecting broader shifts in consumer behavior and economic challenges.

The closure announcements from Papa John’s and Revolution Bars add to a series of challenges faced by retailers and hospitality establishments in the UK, with brands like the Body Shop and Pryzm nightclub chain also encountering difficulties this year.

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