The owner of Zizzi and Ask Italian restaurant chains said it will close 75 locations, with up to 1,200 jobs at risk.

“The Covid-19 crisis has had a profound impact on the casual dining sector, bringing many businesses like ours to a standstill,” said Steve Holmes, chief executive of Azzurri Group.

“Despite being a successful operator, the immediate loss of revenue during lockdown meant that we have had to make some incredibly difficult decisions to protect the business for the long-term.

“It is with deep sadness that this process will result in the permanent closure of a number of sites and that we must say goodbye to greatly valued employees across our brands.”

Zizzi and Ask Italian both have restaurants in Hereford. It is unclear as of yet whether either of these will be affected by the closures.