JAPANESE conveyor belt restaurant chain Yo!SuShi is closing its Bournemouth town centre branch for good.

The Old Christchurch Road restaurant is one of 19 sites being permanently closed by the company.

It has a total of 59 restaurants and 10 concessions across the UK.

Yo!SuShi also has kiosks in many Tesco stores, including Tesco Extra in Riverside Avenue. They will be unaffected by the changes.

Around 250 jobs will be lost across the UK and other branches closing include Whiteley Village, Harvey Nichols in London and Waterloo station.

The company announced the cuts as part of a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) restructuring process.

It said that sites earmarked for closure are “no longer financially viable” and have unsustainable rental costs in the current trading environment.

The group shut its sites temporarily in the face of the pandemic in March, before starting to reopen sites last month with a new model in place to deliver food to customers in line with safety regulations.

Meals at its restaurants are now sent directly to customers on belts with a traffic light system after its previous conveyor belt model was thwarted by new safety guidelines.

It said changes to its operations are “delivering significant cost savings” and have been “well received by guests”.

Richard Hodgson, chief executive officer of the chain, said: “Like the rest of the sector, we need to take decisive action to adapt to the lasting changes that the Covid pandemic has brought about.

“While we have already taken measures to reduce costs, rents remain an issue. In the current climate, it’s just not viable for us to keep any sites that no longer perform.

“While it’s been a very difficult decision to make and I am very sorry that it will mean losing many of our team members, a CVA has become an essential measure to secure our business for the future, and enable us to protect as many jobs as possible.”