SSP, the British owner of food outlets in railway stations and airports worldwide, said Wednesday it may cut up to 5,000 UK jobs as the coronavirus pandemic keeps customers away.
“COVID-19 continues to have an unprecedented impact on the travel industry and on SSP’s businesses in all geographies,” said chief executive Simon Smith, in charge of brands including sandwich chain Upper Crust and Italian takeaway Caffe Ritazza.
“We are beginning to see early signs of recovery in some parts of the world and are starting to open units as passenger demand picks up,” Smith said in a statement.
“However, in the UK the pace of the recovery continues to be slow,” he added.
SSP said that if “the pace of the recovery continues at the current level, this could lead to up to circa 5,000 roles becoming redundant from within the head office and UK operations”.
The company employs about 9,000 people in the UK and some 40,000 worldwide.
SSP said it expects only about 20 percent of its UK food outlets to have reopened by the autumn, adding that the job cuts would cost the group up to £10 million ($12.2 million, 10.9 million euros).