Pizza Express is to hire 1000 new employees as it prepares to welcome customers back into its restaurants.
The recruitment spree comes as the UK’s second-largest restaurant operator eyes a rapid recovery after a tough year in the face of pandemic restrictions.
The new jobs were announced only six months after the chain said it would axe 1300 roles across its 360 UK restaurants as part of a restructuring.
This itself was only announced shortly after it unveiled a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) deal which saw the closure of 73 restaurants and loss of 1100 jobs.
Pizza Express said it is now hiring as part of preparations for the next phases of reopening sites and easing restrictions in May and June.
The chain reopened 118 of its restaurants on April 12 after the UK Government gave the go-ahead to restart outdoor dining in England.
Another 24 restaurants will open in England for al-fresco dining from next week, while restrictions will start to be lifted in Scotland for indoor dining from April 26.
The group said it will reopen the rest of its sites from May but expects to hire more staff after this as customer numbers are expected to rise when service restrictions loosen further in June.
Pizza Express managing director Zoe Bowley said: “We’re expecting millions of people to flock back to restaurants as restrictions are eased, so we are delighted to be in a position to be able to recruit a thousand new team members to help us serve customers at Pizza Express.”
The company said that around 300 of the 1000 new roles will be created through the Government’s Kickstart initiative to help young people find work.
Ms Bowley added: “Our restaurants have been the beating heart of our local communities and neighbourhoods for decades.
“As well as helping locals to get together with friends and family, we support 360 local economies across the UK as an employer for anyone looking for a fun, flexible and rewarding career.
“Our pizzerias are a great place to work, and our teams love welcoming new colleagues.
“After all the challenges and uncertainties of the last year, we’re very excited to be open and recruiting again.”