Pizza Express to roll out ‘Living Lab’ elements
28 February, 2011
Pizza Express is to extend aspects of its new generation Richmond site to other restaurants in a major makeover of its estate.
The Richmond restaurant, profiled by Peach Report last year, gave Pizza Express the opportunity to experiment with new innovations and features. Having evaluated the success of the ‘living lab’ site, the chain is now preparing to roll out elements in its restaurants in Balham, Brighton, Fulham, Glasgow and Newbury, as well as at a new opening in London’s Brent Cross. The rest of its restaurants are scheduled to follow by the end of the year.
New elements will be allocated to restaurants on a site by site basis, but they will include the innovative acoustic controls trialled in Richmond, including domes above tables to capture noise around a table but smother it from the rest of the restaurant.
The kitchen will become a more central part of restaurants as at Richmond, where it was pulled forward into the heart of the room. Other ‘signature’ elements of the new generation of restaurants will include conversation-focused service and regular events like music nights.
Pizza Express said feedback from the Richmond restaurant had been very good, with 93% of customers positively enjoying their visit and like for like sales up by 15% since the relaunch. Chief executive Mark Angela told the Peach 2020 Conference late last year that Richmond had given Pizza Express a “template for the future.”