Mitchells & Butlers is working with advisors CBRE to close up to 20 leasehold pubs and restaurants.

The All Bar One and Harvester operators did not say how many jobs would be affected by the move.

M&B, which also runs Toby Carvery and Browns, has around 1,700 sites.

The company has reopened 95% of its estate since the first lockdown ended, with the remainder closed subject to a review.

M&B has already launched a round of redundancy consultations, though has not disclosed how many jobs were under threat.

The listed company previously announced sales had dropped 35% since the start of the year to Sep 19, as the pandemic plunged the nation into lockdown and forced the closure of hospitality outlets.

Like-for-like sales also fell by 6% in the first three weeks of September.

A Mitchells & Butlers spokesman said: “As announced in September, M&B re-opened the vast majority of its estate, approximately 95pc, after the first lockdown ended.

“The remaining sites have been under review on a case-by-case basis since, taking into account factors such as expected footfall and business layout.

“We have taken the difficult decision not to reopen some of these sites and are working with leaseholders on next steps.”