POWER LIST 2017, BUSINESS LEADERS: Jinlong Wang, Chief Executive, Pizza Express

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16: People walk by a Pizza Express restaurant in Marylebone on February 16, 2017 in London, England. The Association for Licensed Multiple Retailers have written to the Chancellor Philip Hammond calling for more transitional relief ahead of a business rate increase in April. A further rise in business rates could force more pubs and restaurants across the UK to close as they struggle to keep up with costs. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

The resignation of former CEO Richard Hodgson would have come as a shock to many in the market earlier this year, but Jinlong Wang has capably stepped into his shoes and ensured that one of the casual dining market’s biggest ships remains firmly on course for growth.

The former Starbucks executive has an exceptional track record in the sector that includes building global consumer brands and driving ambitious expansion strategies. Jinlong Wang portrait

Pizza Express now operates in 14 territories and has a clear plan to transform itself into a global brand through restaurant development, innovation and improving customer relevance in each key market that it is present.

This is especially true in the UK, where it has opened eight new sites this year including the first Firezza dine-in restaurant, in London.

“The UK remains central to our strategy, and continued success and investment there is the foundation for developing the brand internationally,” says Jinlong. Pizza Express’ experience in multiple markets has taught it that the secret to success lies in the kitchen.

As long as it gets its menu right, sales will inevitably follow. The signs in the UK certainly look positive given that like-for-like sales returned to growth during the first half of the year.

Profile

Company: PizzaExpress
Address: Hunton House, Highbridge Estate, Oxford Road, Uxbridge, UB8 1LX
Tel: 020 3798 9000
Twitter: @PizzaExpress
Website: www.pizzaexpress.com
Focus: Pizza

The 2017 FEJ Power List is supported by Category Sponsor Viessmann. For more details click HERE

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