Bella Italia builds on positive year with new menu launch

Bella Italia, the leading Italian-style family restaurant, looks set to build on a strong start to the year which has seen good sales and cover growth, with the launch of a new menu inspired by classic Italian favourites and the rise in popularity of vegetarianism and veganism.

The menu, which has been developed by Bella Italia’s executive chef, Vittorio Lettieri, features the traditional Italian family favourites its customers know and love, with the addition of a new range of gluten-free, vegan, seafood and lower-calorie options.

These alternative dishes, which reflect the wider trend for healthier, ethical dishes, include trading wheat-based pasta for a spiralised vegetable spaghetti and switching out regular cheese for vegan cheese on the pizza menu.

The new menu also includes a range of new pasta dishes, including Wild Boar Tortelloni; Parma Dolcelatte, an indulgent pasta dish with Parma ham and four-cheese sauce; Pasta Marinara, a spaghetti with mussels, king prawns and squid in a chilli, tomato and garlic sauce; as well as its signature brand-new golden tomato pizza sauce.

James Spragg, chief operating officer, Casual Dining Group, said: “Against a challenging market backdrop, we’ve had a very positive start to the year, as Italian food remains incredibly popular with UK diners. Tracking customer sentiment in a crowded marketplace is vital, and with the 16,000 trip advisor reviews over the past year averaging over 4-stars, it’s clear our teams and offer are being appreciated by our customers.

“That said, we operate in a fast-paced industry, and innovation is imperative for success so we need to continually build on this momentum. This latest menu innovation reflects the rise in popularity of healthier alternatives and ethical choices, but also demonstrates our commitment to always listen to our customers, and the market, and our willingness to adapt. Crucially, we’ll always do this whilst staying true to our identity and brand DNA, which for us is creating genuine Italian dining experiences to enjoy with friends and family.”