The Upper Crust owner predicts that only 20 per cent of its units will be open by autumn.
Chloe Shakesby

Food travel company to cut 5,000 UK jobs as 80 per cent of units remain closed past autumn

A food travel company has today announced that it will be cutting approximately 5,000 jobs in the UK as it reorganises after lockdown.

SSP Group, which is headquartered in London, operates more than 2,800 branded eateries and retail units at airports and railway stations across the world, including Upper Crust and Ritazza.

The company said that it expects only 20 per cent of its UK units to be open by autumn, and is restructuring to ensure that the business survives past the pandemic.

It said that the 5,000 jobs will be from within its head office and UK operations.

Simon Smith, CEO of SSP Group, commented: “Covid-19 continues to have an unprecedented impact on the travel industry and on SSP’s businesses in all geographies.

“Reflecting this, over the last three months the company has taken rapid and decisive action to protect the business and to substantially strengthen the Group’s financial position.

“We are beginning to see early signs of recovery in some parts of the world and are starting to open units as passenger demand picks up.

“However, in the UK the pace of the recovery continues to be slow. In response to this, we are now taking further action to protect the business and create the right base from which to rebuild our operations.

“Regrettably, we are starting a collective consultation which will affect our UK colleagues.

“These are extremely difficult decisions, and our main priority will be to conduct the process carefully and fairly.

“Importantly, we are retaining the flexibility to upscale operations and swiftly re-open additional units if we see improved sales over the summer.

“The medium-term prospects for the group remain positive.

“The objective of the action that we are proposing today is to ensure that we manage through this pandemic, rebuild our business as demand recovers and, in time, deliver long term sustainable growth for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”

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