Prezzo has vowed to “return stronger than before” after becoming the latest chain to shutter all its restaurants in the wake of the coronavirus.
The Italian chain, which operates over 180 sites, said it was temporarily closing all its UK stores in an “orderly and planned manner”.
Executive chairman Karen Jones said: “We need to do this in order to protect the health of our teams, our customers and our local communities. After the government stated last Monday that people should avoid restaurants, it was always going to be question of when, not if, we would need to close our doors for a time.
“Our Prezzo people will be working in their usual committed fashion to temporarily close our restaurants down in an orderly and planned manner.
“Those same Prezzo people are at the centre of my thinking and our planning. We appreciate the support of all stakeholders. I want us to return stronger than before and with renewed determination to deliver our mission – every customer leaving wanting to return.”
Boris Johnson’s call for people to avoid pubs, bars and restaurants has seen the face of the sector change overnight.
Zizzi, ASK Italian, Byron, YO! Sushi and a raft of other top casual dining chains have all shut their stores for the time being, with some turning to takeaway and delivery instead.
TGI Fridays intends to temporarily close all of its 85 restaurants from 9pm tomorrow evening.
CEO Robert Cook said any leftover stock would be safely distributed to local communities or shared amongst the team, and it will continue to look for ways in which it can help those in need.
Like Prezzo’s Jones, he vowed the chain would bounce back.
“We’ve been working hard on some exciting new developments for you, including new food and drinks menus and the return of some classic cocktails. Unfortunately, the launch will now have to be delayed, but we can’t wait to invite [customers] to try it when we open our doors again. Myself and the entire team are going to bring Fridays back stronger than ever before.”