UK Volume 20 PizzaExpress Superbrands UK Annual Vol.20 2018 saw the opening of the brand’s inaugural ‘Global Innovation Centre’ in Central London, providing a kitchen and event space designed to deliver a dedicated area for menu and brand development. 2019 sees the rollout of a significant brand refresh, demonstrating the brand’s pioneering approach. With the aim of bringing people together through shared passions, the brand’s test and learn strategy will see successful initiatives rolled out at pace. This will impact all areas of the business including the service experience, restaurant design, food and drink and music, as well as marketing. The planning of this project has been 18 months in the making, and has included in-depth consumer research, with much of the new direction taking inspiration from founder, Peter Boizot’s original vision. The recent logo refresh illustrates the brand’s heritage, as it highlights ‘1965’, the opening date of the inaugural PizzaExpress in Wardour Street, London. Importantly, people remain at the heart of the business, with much planned to improve the customer experience. Over the last year, there has been significant investment in a leadership programme which continues into 2019 with more than 470 restaurant managers taking part. The PizzaExpress Live brand will continue to evolve and all refurbishments and future openings will feature new design formats, the first of which will open in London’s Oxford Circus in spring 2019. 2019 will also see the launch of ZA; a new, all-day fast casual dining offering. The brand builds on the early inspiration for PizzaExpress – Peter Boizot started out selling fresh, hot slices of PizzaExpress pizza. The company is responding to consumer demand and bringing back Peter’s pioneering attitude, entering the fast-casual market with an offering that is new and fresh. Promotion PizzaExpress has worked hard to remain at the forefront of technological advances, whilst connecting with customers on a more emotional level. Over the past two years, the brand has tapped into real customer stories and created emotive content distributed through its owned-media channels. It has also created bespoke offers to encourage customer loyalty. PizzaExpress’ 2018 ‘Gather Round Good Food’ Christmas film saw distant family and friends across the globe reuniting during a virtual dining experience with a twist – an experience that placed the brand’s core values of bringing people together at the fore. The project resulted in an emotive video that achieved more than 1.5 million views, and extensive media coverage. On National Pizza Day, the brand found superfans and confirmed the nation’s favourite pizza to be Pollo ad Astra, which grabbed column inches. More recently, the brand has supported these initiatives with online and print advertising. Brand Values PizzaExpress still works in adherence with its founding principles of bringing people together over great food. Pride is taken in offering a high standard of hospitality in all the brand’s restaurants: from London’s Soho to the heart of Mumbai, the cultural district of Beijing or the glitz and glamour of Dubai. It appeals to customers who appreciate ‘great pizza and good times’. Whether it be a family pit-stop, a leisurely lunch, a first date or a celebration, PizzaExpress continues its mission to be the world’s most sociable pizzeria and remains the nation’s favourite pizza in the UK to this day. SinGe 1ćĄ5 wLen 4eter Boi^ot opened tLe first 4i^^a)\press restaurant in London¸s SoLo tLe saQe values oJ ‘great food, evocative music, and distinctive design’ Lave reQained Gentral to tLe Frand¸s D2% 8Le one recipe that has never been changed tLis powerJul vision Las Greated an iGoniG Frand wLiGL now has over 600 restaurants globally Market PizzaExpress remains resilient in a challenging market and continues to pioneer new restaurant formats and further develop its brand – 2019 sees the sociable pizzeria undertake a significant brand refresh, reflecting the values and vision of founder, Peter Boizot. With people at the heart of the business, PizzaExpress works closely with industry bodies such as UK Hospitality, with the aim of professionalising the industry and instilling the belief that hospitality is, and will remain, a viable career option. Product PizzaExpress continues to adapt its menu in line with consumers’ ever-evolving tastes and dietary demands, and leads the industry with its innovative menus. The restaurant’s award-winning Vegan Giardiniera is now one of the best-selling pizzas across restaurant, retail and delivery. The team at PizzaExpress works tirelessly to bring the finest ingredients to favourite recipes that customers know and love. This year, for the first time, a dedicated vegan menu was launched in more than 470 restaurants, further demonstrating PizzaExpress’ leading position in the marketplace and its aim to bring people together over great food. The health and wellbeing of customers is also incredibly important, and the brand provides clear information that enables people to make informed decisions about their food and drink choices. The growth of the Leggera Lighter range has provided further choice for customers seeking a lighter option, whilst the understated Margherita pizza still ranks as the best-selling dish. The iconic Dough Balls also continue to be a crowd-pleaser, with the limited edition Snowball Dough Balls making their way onto the Christmas menu. Signalling the arrival of the festive season, the brand hosted ‘Snowball Dough Ball Day’ when the dish was available for a reduced price of £1, with all proceeds going to Macmillan Cancer Support. Achievements Industry awards have recognised the innovative menus that PizzaExpress provides. This has included the 2018 FreeFrom Eating Out Awards and the PETA Vegan Food Award for the Vegan Giardiniera pizza in 2017. Furthermore, the Leggera Lighter range has been welcomed by the media and customers alike. PizzaExpress has also been recognised by the Good Housekeeping Institute as the UK’s ‘favourite high street restaurant’ and by Which? magazine for being the ‘healthiest and tastiest pizza on the high street’. In November, a YouGov survey found the brand to be the UK’s favourite high street restaurant, illustrating the brand’s popularity and ability to weather difficult market conditions. The brand regularly wins ‘gold’ awards from Mumsnet for its ‘family friendly’ offering, with its extensive children’s menu and welcoming approach to families. PizzaExpress has also won marketing awards for its use of technology and launched its new app in 2018, which offers exclusive rewards for customers, and achieved the number two slot in the iTunes free app charts, behind WhatsApp. Continuing with its endeavour to put people at the heart of the business, the brand has also been closely associated with charitable causes, building upon Peter Boizot’s original aim to raise funds for the Venice In Peril charity. PizzaExpress also works with Macmillan Cancer Support, with one simple goal: to bring people together, so that no one faces cancer alone. Funds raised by teams and customers during the company’s ‘Go Green Week’ and from PizzaExpress products sold in restaurants and supermarkets, have topped £1.5m raised for the charity over the past two years. Recent Developments PizzaExpress has continued to invest in innovation to ensure that it remains relevant for the future. 4i^^a)\press sells over 32 million pizzas per year in superQarkets D-D=39 /23;# Brand History 1948 Peter Boizot works as a reporter for the Associated Press in Rome whilst also selling postcards from a barrow in St. Peter’s Square. 1965 Peter discovers that, unlike in Italy, pizzerias don’t exist in the UK. This inspires him to open the first pizzeria in London’s Soho. 1967 Renowned Italian designer, Enzo Apicella, joins forces with Peter to open a second restaurant in London. He then goes on to design a further 85 PizzaExpress restaurants. 1969 PizzaExpress Jazz Club in Dean Street, Soho opens. The venue goes on to host a wealth of talent including Ed Sheeran, Jessie Ware and Newton Faulkner. 1970 PizzaExpress brings Peroni to the UK. 1971 PizzaExpress launches the ‘Pizza Veneziana’ initiative, providing a donation to the Venice In Peril fund from every pizza sold. 1986 Peter Boizot is awarded an MBE. 2003 Gluten-free pizzas and beer are launched onto the menu. 2006 PizzaExpress introduces the Piccolo menu for children. 2014 PizzaExpress wins ‘Best Restaurant Chain’ in the FreeFrom Eating Out awards. 2017 PizzaExpress launches its first vegan pizza – the award-winning Vegan Giardiniera. 2018 The brand has over 600 restaurants in 13 countries around the world and launches a dedicated vegan menu. 2019 PizzaExpress launches a brand refresh and extends into the ‘on-the-go’ sector with the launch of ZA.