Pizza Hut blames Covid pandemic for closing Darlington restaurant
PIZZA Hut in Darlington has become another victim of the Covid pandemic after bosses last night confirmed its permanent closure.
The once popular and bustling Horsemarket restaurant in the city center had apparently been abandoned earlier this week.
The lights remained off when the menus were removed from the display, while much of its fixtures and accessories were still visible on site.
On Wednesday, a large poster directing people to his restaurant in Teesside Park, near Stockton, was seen as the Pizza Hut signs remained.
However, confirming that the restaurant had indeed closed permanently, Pizza Hut said it was “saddened” and that the closure was “beyond our control”.
Pizza Hut suggested the closure was due to the impact of the Covid pandemic and confirmed it had redeployed a number of staff to nearby sites.
Read more: Fresco Pizza at Darlington Market closes after liquidation
A spokesperson said: âLike many hotel businesses, Pizza Hut restaurants have been disrupted due to the pandemic.
âWe are saddened by the closure of our Darlington restaurant, but it was beyond our control.
âWhenever possible, we always try to redeploy our team members to other Pizza Hut restaurants to minimize the impact on our workforce.
âYou can continue to enjoy Pizza Hut in our Stockton restaurant at Teesside Leisure Park. ”
Last year, the chain, which has restaurants across the region, including Middlesbrough, Metrocentre and Durham Retail Park, warned of plans to cut 29 locations.
At the time, he said he was negotiating a deal to voluntarily restructure a corporate deal after facing a “significant disruption” from the Covid-19 pandemic.
A spokesperson said: âWe are committed to doing the right thing and, in order to secure as many jobs as possible and continue to serve our communities, we are working to come to an agreement with our creditors.
âWe understand that this is a difficult time for everyone involved.
âWe appreciate the support of our business partners and do everything possible to assist our team members during this process, including speaking with those affected by the consultation. ”
It comes as Fresco Street Pizza in Darlington’s indoor market has closed after a liquidation that resulted in unpaid rent and salary payments.
A spokesperson for Darlington indoor market operators, Market Asset Management (MAM), confirmed the closure on Wednesday.
They said, âAlthough our lease was with the tenant, this company owned most of the equipment in the unit that was dismantled.
âThe company has also employed staff who unfortunately say they weren’t paid in full last month or this month.
âThe rent is also exceptional and we are currently working with our lawyers and discussing with the tenant.
âWe understand that at least three staff members are affected and must claim money through an insolvency company.
âIt is heartwarming that one staff member has been hired by another unit in the market and another has found another job. ”
Fresco has been contacted for comment.
Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
You can also follow our dedicated Darlington Facebook page for all the latest area news by clicking here.
For all the most important updates from across the region delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter here.
Do you have a story for us? Contact our press office on [email protected] or contact 01325 505054