PIZZA Hut has reportedly begun rescue talks with financial advisors – which could put the future of its Chester and Ellesmere Port restaurants in doubt.

The restaurant brand, which has eateries at Chester Retail Park and Coliseum Leisure Park, has hired advisors at Alvarez & Marsal to examine the possibility of an insolvency agreement.

A spokesperson for the company has said that a final decision on an agreement and whether a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) is required has yet to be decided.

Currently, Pizza Hut has 5,700 employees in the UK and 244 branches in total.

The Chester and Ellesmere Port restaurants are among those that have reopened after temporarily closing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

If the chain does enter insolvency, it is not yet clear how many of its branches will be affected, or how many jobs may be cut as part of any restructuring plans.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the company said: "Despite government support, and entering lockdown from a place of strength, the cost of lockdown combined with reduced trading levels has had a substantial impact on the whole restaurant sector.

"Along with many other businesses, we are looking at ways to minimise that financial impact, while continuing to trade as usual.

"Whether this will require financial restructuring in the form of a CVA or otherwise is as yet undecided."

The company's 380 Pizza Hut delivery branches in the UK, which are separately owned to Pizza Hut Restaurants, will be unaffected by any restructuring plans.

There are delivery branches on Christleton Road, Chester, and in Ellesmere Port town centre.