Pizza Express drives for growth with first motorway restaurant

Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Pizza Express is the latest restaurant chain to capitalise on the growing opportunity for business at motorway service stations after announcing plans for its first motorway site at Oxford.

The brand will launch its outlet at Welcome Break services on the M40 near Oxford and will cater for 88 diners.

“We are always keeping our fingers on the pulse of the ever-changing wants and needs of our customers,” said Richard Hodgson, chief executive of Pizza Express.

“However the challenge with entering the motorway service network has been to find a partner where we can ensure that the food and in-restaurant quality for which we are renowned is replicated.”

He added: “We are confident Welcome Break is the perfect partner to help us make this transition.”

Meanwhile, CEO of Welcome Break, Rod McKie, said people were spending more and more time at service stations and now wanted high street-quality restaurants there.

He said: “In recent years we have witnessed a growing trnd with our customers, both business and leisure, to spend more time at out service stations and to be able to enjoy a dining experience comparable to that on the high street.

“I am delighted that Pizza Express will be able to offer that experience to our customers.”

He added that Welcome Break hoped to open many more Pizza Express restaurants across its network.

Restaurant brands are increasingly looking to service stations for business as the trend for fast food to break up journeys appears to be dipping. Consumers are increasingly demanding QSRs and a sit-down experience during their motorway journeys. Recently, JD Wetherspoon opened ‘The First Motorway Pub’ on the M40.

Image: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

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