The largest U.S. Pizza Hut franchisee, NPC International, will close up to 300 restaurants after filing for bankruptcy in early July, CNBC reported.

NPC will reportedly also sell off its remaining 927 locations, which in total account for one-fifth of Yum! Brands’ (YUM) total U.S. portfolio of Pizza Hut restaurants. NPC also operates nearly 400 Wendy’s restaurants.

A Pizza Hut spokesperson told CNBC in a statement that, “In the event NPC executes a sale of its Pizza Hut business, Pizza Hut’s focus would be to ensure that new ownership brings to NPC’s Pizza Hut restaurants a strong capital structure, healthy balance sheet, commitment to operational excellence, and a growth mindset.”

The statement also indicated that employees of the closed Pizza Hut locations will be moved to better-performing restaurants if possible. NPC did not indicate which locations would close and when they would be shuttered.

The announcement by Pizza Hut comes as there is a pepperoni shortage, which has resulted in increased pricing of meat during the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reported.

Consumers have shifted toward takeout and delivery for pizza’s that pushed the sale of pepperoni, a labor-intensive meat to produce.

Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut on Tuesday has released its lineup of new deals after it has become the official pizza sponsor of the NFL. A sign is pictured at a Pizza Hut restaurant on Aug. 15, 2005 in Niles, Illinois. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images