May 17, 2020

Prezzo to close 94 restaurants following £220mn debt announcement

Sophie Chapman
2 min
Prezzo to close 94 branches in the UK
The British-owned Italian restaurant chain, Prezzo, has announced it will be closing almost one-third of its stores, including its Chimichanga branch...

The British-owned Italian restaurant chain, Prezzo, has announced it will be closing almost one-third of its stores, including its Chimichanga branch.

The firm has entered a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) to close 94 stores in total, leaving the company with 2018 branches in the UK.

The employer of 4,500 members of staff has stated that it had hoped creditors would reduce rent prices in underperforming stores.

“Prezzo’s core business today is fundamentally strong and has fantastic potential,” commented Jon Hendry-Pickup, CEO of Prezzo.

“However, the well-documented pressures on our industry mean a number of our restaurants are underperforming.”


“While we continue to be profitable and cash-generative, our position is not sustainable, so we must take decisive action now to ensure we’re able to thrive in the future.”

The Guardian has also reported that the restaurant chain owes £220mn (US$303mn) to banks and suppliers.

The CVA documents disclose £154mn ($212.6mn) to Barclays Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland, as well as £65.7mn ($90.7mn) to unsecured creditors.

£600,000 ($828,444) is owed to British Gas, £364,000 ($502,589) to Reynolds Catering Supplies, and £120,000 ($165,689) to Boston Interiors.

“The directors have concluded, for a number of ­reasons, that Prezzo’s current business model and associated cost structure is no longer viable in a number of cases,” the Guardian noted the CVA document reading.

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Jul 15, 2021

Deliveroo boss, Will Shu, goes undercover as food courier

Helen Adams
2 min
The millionaire Deliveroo founder posed as a delivery man in London, to see how the business operates on the ground

The co-founder of Deliveroo, Will Shu, has taken a humble approach to leading the company, by delivering food to customers himself to find out what his employees deal with. On one recent trip, he noted how restaurant staff were ‘rude’ to him when he pointed out that the food he was due to deliver was cold.

Co-founder Will Shu is based in London. The University of Pennsylvania graduate hatched Deliveroo in 2012, with the target of getting local restaurant meals to hungry people quickly. The company has a revenue of £476m. 


Please tell your staff to smile, says Deliveroo boss

The Deliveroo app allows users to order takeaway food, which is then delivered by independent food couriers, often cyclists in weather-proof backpackers, to a house, place of work or even a public location. The company is now active in 12 countries and has helped many through the stress of the pandemic by delivering delicious meals to the doorstep. 

Shu has chosen to do several undercover rounds and he told The Diary of a CEO podcast that on one delivery in Notting Hill, he was rudley disregarded by the staff of an eatery where he collected the food. 

“I did five deliveries last night in Notting Hill. I’m not like a celebrity so no one recognises me. Then I got the food and it was kind of cold, and I’m like ‘hey, you know this food’s kind of cold’ and they were like ‘just deliver it buddy.”

Shu refused to name the location but said he would tell their bosses about the incident. 

“We need to figure out a way to get this to work. Please tell your staff just smile, say ‘hey, how are you doing’. It makes a big difference in people’s days.”


Deliveroo set to expand its business with new tech roles

Deliveroo has recently announced that it will create 400 high-skilled tech jobs, to support its rapid growth and to help restaurants improve efficiency.

The company is seeking to hire across a range of skill sets including software engineers, product managers, user researchers, designers, and even data scientists.


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