STAFF at two restaurants in Taunton are hoping they re-open following lockdown.

Zizzi and Ask Italian, which are both owned by the same company, remain closed.

And the owner has announced it is closing 75 locations, with the risk of 1,200 job losses.

Azzurri Group, which also owns Coco di Mama pasta chain, has been sold out of administration to TowerBrook Capital Partners, saving 225 shops and restaurants.

But business ground to a halt during the four-month lockdown period.

Chief executive Steve Holmes said: "The Covid-19 crisis has had a profound impact on the casual dining sector, bringing many businesses like ours to a standstill.

"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."

Neither Ask Italian, based in the former Taunton Post Office premises in North Street, nor Zizzi, in Magdalene House, has re-opened following lockdown, although there are messages on their social media pages saying they plan to do so soon.

TowerBrook Capital Partners has not announced which Ask Italian and Zizzi restaurants will close.