Pizza Express Manchester

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I was amazed to find out that Pizza Express have more restaurants in the city centre of Manchester than McDonalds have, and they are about to open a new one at first Street. Pictured here is the re-openind restaurant at The Corn Exchange, Exchange Sqaure in Manchester. Each restaurant has  the theme, and this one takes its inspiration form Manchester’s mills.

Pizza Express worker

© Mark Waugh


About Pizza Express:

PizzaExpress is a restaurant group with over 400 restaurants across the United Kingdom and 40 overseas in Europe, Pakistan, Hong Kong, India and the Middle East. It was founded in 1965 by Peter Boizot. In July 2014 the group was sold to the China-based private equity firm Hony Capital in a deal worth £900 million.

Founded in 1965 by Peter Boizot, PizzaExpress opened its first restaurant in London’s Wardour Street. Inspired by a trip to Italy, Boizot brought back to London a pizza oven from Naples and a chef from Sicily.

Pizza Express waiter

© Mark Waugh

In 1969 jazz performances began at its Dean Street restaurant, London.

In 1995, PizzaExpress expanded into Ireland and currently operates 14 restaurants there under the brand name Milano. The company also owns the brand name Marzano. Originally Marzano was used in countries where the brand name Pizza Express was not available, as with the use of the name Milano in Ireland, but it also exists in some territories, such as Cyprus, to differentiate between the restaurants selling primarily pizza and those offering a wider range of non-pizza meals inspired by Italy.

pizza express interior manchester

© Mark Waugh

PizzaExpress was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1993 with franchises opening across the UK. UK franchises were then bought back en masse in 1996. TDR Capital and Capricorn Associates then bought the company in 2003 turning it private again. In 2005, PizzaExpress floated on the London Stock Exchange, as part of the Gondola Holdings PLC. It was then bought by private equity group Cinven as the Gondola Group in 2007.

Peter Boizot teamed up with Italian restaurant designer and cartoonist Enzo Apicella in the 1960s to design the PizzaExpress identity and over 80 restaurants.

pizza express interior manchesetr

© Mark Waugh

In 2002, PizzaExpress launched PizzaExpress Prospects Contemporary Art Prize with pop artist Peter Blake. Peter Blake’s connection with PizzaExpress was extended when he donated 26 original pieces to the Chiswick restaurant.

PizzaExpress created a ‘Living Lab’ in October 2010, in Richmond, trialling new ideas from design to sound, collaborating with designer Ab Rogers.

list od manchester mills

© Mark Waugh

PizzaExpress introduced the Pizza Veneziana in 1977 to help save Venice from sinking by donating 5p of every pizza sold to the Venice in Peril Fund. Over the years the amount donated from each pizza has increased to 25p. From 2008, donations from the Veneziana pizza go to the Veneziana Fund, where 50% is donated to the Venice in Peril Fund and 50% is given to the restoration, repair and maintenance of buildings, fixtures and fittings of buildings and works of art created before 1750.

In 1999, PizzaExpress introduced its Schools Programme, a programme where the company turns its restaurants into classrooms, educating children about fresh ingredients, how to run a local business and how to cook for themselves

pizza express can

© Mark Waugh

In 2011, PizzaExpress launched a major rebrand of its UK restaurants, with menu changes, a black and white logo and the widespread use of stripes, both for staff uniforms and for restaurant decor.

About Peter Boizot:

Peter Boizot, MBE (born 16 November 1929) is an entrepreneur, restaurateur, politician, art collector and philanthropist. He is most well known as the founder of PizzaExpress.

Boizot was born, educated and currently lives in Peterborough, United Kingdom. He was educated at King’s School, Peterborough and later became head boy. In his childhood he stopped eating meat. He has remained a vegetarian ever since.

He was an active supporter of the Liberal Party. He twice stood as the Liberal candidate for Peterborough at the General Elections of February and October 1974.

Boizot is locally renowned as ‘Mr Peterborough’ because of the work and funds that he has put back into his hometown of Peterborough. He purchased and then modernised his favourite local haunt, the Great Northern Hotel in 1993. In 1997 he bought the ailing Peterborough United Football Club and invested £5 million into its resurrection. Boizot acquired the former Odeon cinema building in 1996 and transformed it into a multi-purpose entertainment venue complete with theatre, concert and conference rooms.

At the age of 84, Boizot turned his life story into the 2014 autobiography Mr Pizza and All That Jazz. The work, which was written with journalist Matthew Reville, received positive reviews.

pizza express chef

© Mark Waugh









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