Bella Italia toasts year of rapid growth with 22 new restaurants & 1,000 jobs

Italian casual restaurant brand, Bella Italia has put the finishing touches to its latest opening, a new 160-cover eaterie in Scotland.

The new venue in East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, follows a 150-cover Newcastle site in Eldon Square, meaning the fast-growing restaurant brand has opened a record 22 restaurants in the calendar year and now comprises 111 locations in total.

The two new restaurants represent a £1.6m-plus investment by Bella owner Casual Dining Group, creating nearly 90 new jobs across the two sites. The total of 22 new openings in 2016 have been driven by almost £20m of investment, creating close to 1,000 new jobs.

Managing director Nick White said, “Having recently celebrated our 25th birthday, I am delighted with, and very proud of our achievements this year, with a total of 22 new site openings delivered.

'In so many ways 2016 has been a transformational year, whether it’s the pace of our food development and menu innovations, our openings programme, or the revenue generated and the number of people that now work as part of Bella Italia team.”

This year’s new restaurant openings coincide with the introduction of an inspiring and brand new menu across the Bella Italia estate. It builds further on Bella’s focus in creating a truly authentic and traditional Italian feel to dishes, including hand-stretched pizzas and fresh lasagne hand-made daily, and fine-tuned classics, such as carbonara.

Other new site openings this year include, Brighton, Colliers Wood, Darlington, Gateshead Metro Centre, Glasgow, Orpington, Watford, the Wirral, and Bella’s biggest site to date with 300 covers, marking its 100th site opening – Bluewater.