ITALIAN restaurant chain Prezzo has announced it will be shutting 94 branches and axing 500 roles in a bid to save its business.

It has been reported that the Prezzo restaurant in Low Pavement, Nottingham, is set to shut. However, the site in Forman Street, near the Cornerhouse, is due to remain open.

Earlier this month, research by national accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young showed that 35 of the UK’s top 100 restaurant groups – including Prezzo – are now loss-making, up 75% from just 20 last year.

Simon Browning, partner in charge of UHY’s Nottingham office, said: “More than a third of the biggest companies in the restaurant sector are losing money, and there is little respite on the horizon.

“Pressures on the restaurant sector have been building for years, and the last year has pushed a number of major groups to breaking point.

“Consumers only have a finite amount of spending power when it comes to eating out, and the oversaturation of the market means that groups that fall foul of changing trends can very easily fail.

“The Government has ratcheted up costs with a series of above-inflation rises in the minimum wage, and we are just weeks away from another 4.4% rise in April. That will be tough for a lot of restaurants to absorb.”

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