Winchester's Papa Johns store will remain open after the pizza chain revealed 43 of its restaurants across the UK will close in the next two months.

The takeaway business confirmed plans to axe the “underperforming” branches after launching a review at the start of 2024.

It will close the restaurants by mid-May following a consultation process, Papa Johns International said.

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The company has not confirmed how many staff will be impacted by closures.

The group had previously said it planned “strategic closures” to free up money for investment and improve profitability at its remaining UK sites.

Hampshire Chronicle: Papa Johns in St George's Street, Winchester Papa Johns in St George's Street, Winchester (Image: Newsquest)

It has now identified 43 restaurants as “underperforming locations that are no longer financially viable”.

However, the Papa Johns store in Winchester will remain open with the closures affecting various locations around London, Kent and further to the North of England.

In 2023 the store, based in St George's Street applied to stay open for collection and delivery until 3am. However, Winchester City Council's licensing sub-committee said that it would allow them to open to 1am for collection and 3am for delivery, extending it from its previous opening hours of 11am-11pm.

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Managing director at Papa Johns UK, Chris Phylactou, said: “Our priority is our team members, who will be fully supported throughout this process.

“Our goal is to work with impacted team members and attempt to find redeployment opportunities where available.

“We understand the impact this will have on our team members and are committed to supporting them during this time.”

Papa Johns said it plans to increase investment in research and technology, such as better utilising customer data, as part of its UK strategy.

It also said it will look at the development of new types of sites beyond traditional restaurants, such as expanding into holiday parks, and is set to “announce other large retail partners in the coming months”.