Dozens of jobs will be lost with two popular chain eateries set to close at Freeport Braintree.

Prezzo, owned by private equity firm TPG Capital, is launching a Company Voluntary Arrangement, which will allow the Italian-themed chain to get rid of unprofitable branches and secure rent reductions on the remaining estate.

A total of 94 of the chain’s outlets are set to close, with both Chimichanga and Cafe Uno at Freeport facing the axe.

Jon Hendry-Pickup, CEO of Prezzo, said: “Prezzo’s core business today is fundamentally strong and has fantastic potential.

“However, the well-documented pressures on our industry mean a number of our restaurants are underperforming.

“While we continue to be profitable and cash-generative, our position is not sustainable, so we must take decisive action now to ensure we’re able to thrive in the future.”

The closures are expected to take place from April, with the business promising to attempt to redeploy as many staff as possible.

Mr Hendry-Pickup added: “We recognise this process will impact many of our team members and their families.

“We are committed to keeping them informed, and will be doing all we can to support them during this difficult time.”

The news of the closures comes at a bleak time for High Street and retails parks. Last Wednesday, it was announced Toys R Us and electronics retailer Maplin crashed into administrations.

But Mr Hendry-Pickup promised Prezzo did still have a bright future.

“While the decision to enter into a CVA process was extremely tough, it was crucial to ensuring we’re able to continue to serve our customers for years to come,” he said.

Prezzo, in High Street, Halstead, is also set to close, however the Witham restaurant will remain open.