Sushi chain Yo! to cut up to 250 jobs and shut 19 restaurants

Sushi chain Yo! to cut up to 250 jobs and shut 19 restaurants

Sushi chain Yo! has said it plans to shut 19 of its sites and cut up to 250 jobs in a bid to protect its long-term future.

The restaurant chain, which has 59 restaurants and 10 concessions across the UK, announced the cuts as part of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructuring process.

It said that sites earmarked for closure are “no longer financially viable” and have unsustainable rental costs in the current trading environment.

The group shut its sites temporarily in the face of the pandemic in March, before starting to reopen sites last month with a new model in place to deliver food to customers in line with safety regulations.

New conveyor belt system at Yo! Sushi
Yo! has introduced a new conveyor belt system to its restaurants (Yo/PA)

It said changes to its operations are “delivering significant cost savings” and have been “well received by guests”.

Yo! said its reopened sites will continue as normal during the CVA process, while its Manchester Arndale, Birmingham Grand Central and Meadowhall will reopen with the new format in the coming weeks.

Richard Hodgson, chief executive officer of the chain, said: “Like the rest of the sector, we need to take decisive action to adapt to the lasting changes that the Covid pandemic has brought about.

“While we have already taken measures to reduce costs, rents remain an issue. In the current climate, it’s just not viable for us to keep any sites that no longer perform.

“While it’s been a very difficult decision to make and I am very sorry that it will mean losing many of our team members, a CVA has become an essential measure to secure our business for the future, and enable us to protect as many jobs as possible.”

The company also runs 52 kiosks in Tesco stores but said these will be unaffected by the CVA proposal.

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