Prezzo and Chimichanga restaurants across Suffolk and Essex at risk of closure

The Prezzo on Aldeburgh High Street. Picture: JERRY TURNER

The Prezzo on Aldeburgh High Street. Picture: JERRY TURNER

Hundreds of jobs are expected to be lost at Italian restaurant chain Prezzo, which has several branches in Suffolk and Essex, as plans are made to close up to 100 sites.

The company, owned by private equity firm TPG Capital, is set to launch a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), which will allow the Italian-themed chain to close unprofitable branches and secure rent reductions on the remaining sites.

Prezzo currently has locations in Ipswich, Woodbridge, Felixstowe, Sudbury, Aldeburgh, Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Beccles, Newmarket, Colchester, Halstead, Braintree and Witham.

A total of 100 of Prezzo’s 300 outlets have been earmarked for closure, as well as its Tex-Mex chain Chimichanga which has restaurants in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.

Prezzo, which is working with AlixPartners on the restructuring, employs 4,500 people.

Prezzo is not the first company to announce difficulties in recent times.

On Wednesday alone, Toys R Us and electronics retailer Maplin crashed into administration, putting more than 5,000 jobs in jeopardy.

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As well as staff costs and lower footfall, the chains have been stung by the collapse in the pound, which has ramped up the cost of buying ingredients.

Soaring business rates, National Living Wage costs and the Apprenticeship Levy are all thought to have impacted on the businesses.