PREZZO has said it will shut 46 restaurants which have been hit by soaring costs and changes to customer habits – but it will stay open in Exmouth.

The Italian restaurant chain has said around 810 workers are at risk of redundancy as part of the overhaul. The shake-up will leave it with 97 restaurants and around 2,000 staff.

It said the closures will impact some high street sites as its portfolio shifts more towards those “in better locations to cater to changing consumer habits” such as shopping centres, retail parks and tourist destinations.

Staff were informed about the closures on Monday morning, with a consultation process launched.

Prezzo said it will work to redeploy “as many staff internally as possible” and will support others in new opportunities.

The restaurant group said costs have leapt over the past year, with its utility bills more than doubling and double-digit wage inflation.

It has also been impacted by soaring food inflation, which hit a 45-year high last month, with Prezzo witnessing a 40 per cent increase in the cost of spaghetti, a 28 per cent rise for pizza sauce and a 15 per cent increase in the cost of its dough balls.

Dean Challenger, chief executive of Prezzo, 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.

“We believe the tough decisions we are making today will ensure Prezzo can continue serving communities with high-quality, accessible Italian-inspired meals for many more years to come.”

Prezzo said the shake-up will impact a raft of sites where footfall is still below pre-pandemic levels and leave more restaurants in busier shopping destinations such as retail parks or tourist hot-spots.

The hospitality firm fell into administration in late 2020 after the heavy impact of the pandemic, before being snapped up by current private equity owners Cain International.

This closure plan comes two years after the group previously shut 22 restaurants and cut 216 jobs.

Prezzo's Exmouth eatery is located 38-39 The Strand,Exmouth.

Here is a full list of all the Prezzo restaurants due to close:

– Beccles, Suffolk

– Billericay, Essex

– Bolton, Greater Manchester

– Borehamwood, Hertfordshire

– Boston, Lincolnshire

– Bracknell, Berkshire

– Brentwood, Essex

– Buckhurst Hill, Essex

– Buckingham, Buckinghamshire

– Chichester, West Sussex

– Chingford, London

– Colchester, Essex

– Corby, Northamptonshire

– Didcot, Oxfordshire

– Eastbourne, East Sussex

– Egham, Surrey

– Eltham, London

– Ely, Cambridgeshire

– Epsom, Surrey

– Fleet, Hampshire

– Glasgow, St Vincent Place

– Hailsham, East Sussex

– Harpenden, Hertfordshire

– Livingston, West Lothian

– Lyndhurst, Hampshire

– Maidstone, Kent

– Mere Green, Birmingham

– Mill Hill, London

– Oxford, Oxfordshire

– Plymouth, Devon

– Redditch, Worcestershire

– Redhill, Surrey

– Rugby, Warwickshire

– Shepperton, Surrey

– Shirley, Warwickshire

– Sidcup, London

– St Neots, Cambridgeshire

– Stowmarket, Suffolk

– Tenterden, Kent

– Tunbridge Wells, Kent

– Weybridge, Surrey

– Whitstable, Kent

– Wickford, Essex

– Wimborne, Dorset

– Winchester, Hampshire

– Woodford Green, London