Coronavirus: ASK and Prezzo close all UK branches — 13 restaurants in Sussex affected
Italian restaurant chains ASK and Prezzo have closed all their branches across the UK due to the spread of the coronavirus.
Prezzo has six restaurants in Sussex — Chichester, Crawley, Horsham, Eastbourne, Hailsham and Brighton — whilst ASK has seven — Chichester, Crawley, Horsham, Burgess Hill, Worthing, Lewes and Brighton.
ASK, which closed from 4pm on Wednesday, confirmed Crawley and Horsham are two of the selected branches to remain open for takeaway.
Managing director Chris Holmes said: "We have had to make the difficult decision to temporarily close all ASK restaurants across the UK.
"The safety and wellbeing of our customers, team members and the wider communities surrounding our restaurants is our number one priority. Following the latest government guidance asking people to reduce social interaction where possible, we believe choosing to temporarily close our restaurant spaces is the right decision.
"We will be doing everything possible to look after our ASK teams during these tough and unprecedented times.
"We hope all our customers are staying safe and well, and I would like to say a special thank you to all of you who are working round the clock to keep us all safe.
"We’re looking forward to seeing each of you when we’re back open again."
In a statement to customers today (Thursday), Prezzo's executive chairman Karen Jones said temporary closure was 'always going to be question of when, not if' after the government stated on Monday that people should avoid restaurants,
"Today we will temporarily close our Prezzo restaurants during this COVID-19 crisis," she said. "We need to do this in order to protect the health of our teams, our customers and our local communities.
"Our Prezzo people will be working in their usual committed fashion to temporarily close our restaurants down in an orderly and planned manner.
"Those same Prezzo people are at the centre of my thinking and our planning. We appreciate the support of all stakeholders.
"I want us to return stronger than before and with renewed determination to deliver our mission — every customer leaving wanting to return. And return we will."