Terrible news pizza fans, our beloved Pizza Express is in trouble.
The reliable chain you’ve seen on every high street ever, might disappear. The company is allegedly in £1.1bn of debt, with each of its c.470 branches owing around £1.6m… That’s not a small amount.
It does have until August 2022 to repay £655.6m, but that’s no small feat, especially with falling profits.
Is there anyone out there that has never been to a Pizza Express? Surely not. It’s the place your parents took you out to as a kid because it’s genuinely child-friendly. It’s the place you were first allowed to go for dinner without your parents for someone’s birthday. And it’s the place you might have gone quite recently if you’re meeting a friend for a quick dinner, or before going to the cinema.
The likelihood is though, you probably didn’t pay full price. Maybe you’ve got a Tastecard, maybe you picked up a 2-4-1 voucher from someone, or a ‘two mains for £10’ from the back of a car parking ticket. No-one pays full price for Pizza Express, which definitely won’t have helped out.
It was only last month Pizza Express was voted the UK’s number one casual dining brand in a YouGov poll (below Gregg’s, and above Wetherspoon, Costa Coffee and Zizzi’s), but that brand love apparently hasn’t translated to sales...
Fingers crossed our beloved dough balls will be saved.
(dough ball photo below by Ben Sutherland)