AN ITALIAN restaurant in Rugby town centre is to close after its parent company revealed it was not making a profit amid ‘hard times for the high street’.
The Rugby branch of Prezzo in Regent Street is among 46 loss-making branches of the chain which are closing down due to soaring inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.
The company said its costs had risen in the past year, with its utility bills more than doubling, wage inflation growing to double-digits, and the price of key ingredients soaring – such as spaghetti which had gone up by 40 per cent.
Prezzo said customer numbers were strong in high footfall areas, but in other locations remained below pre-pandemic levels.
The company has informed all 810 affected nationwide staff of the closures and launched a consultation process, adding it would ‘work to redeploy as many staff internally as possible and support others in finding new opportunities’.
Prezzo chief executive Dean Challenger said: “The last three years have been some of the hardest times I have ever seen for the high street and I’m extremely proud of the way our colleagues have retained Prezzo’s position as an appealing, trusted, great value food and drink experience.
“But the reality is that the cost-of-living crisis, the changing face of the high street and soaring inflation has made it impossible to keep all our restaurants operating profitably. That is why we have made the difficult decision to close 46 sites where the post-Covid recovery has proved harder than we had hoped.
“We will work to find suitable alternative roles in other Prezzo restaurants for all those hard-working colleagues impacted by the announcement and support those who cannot be accommodated in finding new opportunities.
“We believe the tough decisions we are making today will ensure Prezzo can continue for many more years to come.”
The remaining Prezzo restaurant portfolio includes 97 branches which ‘are in better locations to cater to changing consumer habits’ such as shopping centres, retail parks, tourist destinations and travel hubs.