Papa Johns has confirmed that two further 'underperforming' venues on its restaurant portfolio will close after a shock announcement from the big name brand.

The takeaway pizza business said earlier this year that it planned to shut a raft of “underperforming” restaurants.

On Tuesday (March 26), it confirmed that 43 UK restaurants would close, including Darlington and Durham. 

However, within the list, Middlesbrough and Harrogate are also earmarked for closure.

It said on Tuesday that it will close the restaurants by mid-May following a consultation process.

The following restaurants in the region to close are:

  • Darlington, County Durham
  • Durham, County Durham
  • Harrogate, North Yorkshire
  • Middlesbrough, Teesside

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.

Chris Phylactou, managing director at Papa Johns UK, 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”.

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Mr Phylactou added: “While this is a difficult decision, closing these underperforming locations will give us the opportunity to invest back into the right locations with the right partners for long-term growth.

“We are focused on driving shared profitable growth across our UK restaurants, by continuing to make improvements to our business to ensure that we are well positioned for the future.

“We have been encouraged by the results so far from these initiatives.”