PizzaExpress launches new brand concept today on Oxford Street

The nation’s best-loved sociable pizzeria, PizzaExpress is today reopening its Langham Place, Oxford Circus pizzeria, after a significant redesign as part of its new brand proposition.

Extensive customer research has resulted in innovation across design, food & drink and the customer experience, which together form a ‘test and learn’ of the new brand proposition.

Since Peter Boizot, PizzaExpress’ founder, transformed the casual dining market by bringing pizza to the UK and opening the first PizzaExpress in 1965, the sociable pizzeria has led the way in shaping what consumers know and love about the sector. This new chapter promises to be just as pioneering, aiming to bring people together through shared passions – food, drink, music and creativity.

These four pillars are clearly defined at PizzaExpress Langham Place, Oxford Circus, and will inform future openings and refurbishments based on learnings from the launch.

Having used ‘open kitchens’ since before the term was coined, the kitchen has been repositioned to take centre-stage at the heart of the restaurant, bringing the theatre and authenticity of PizzaExpress’ pizza-making to the fore.

Hues of gold will surround the pizzaiolos at work, with white marble tables and teal and rose furnishings coming together across the main dining area, which surround the kitchen, to make the space warm and inviting for up to 137 diners.

The pizzeria will also be one of the brand’s first to introduce a defined bar space, which has been co-created alongside lifelong partners Peroni Nastro Azzurro. Positioned by the entrance adjacent to the main dining area, the bar area will cater for up to 30 covers and has been designed to increase its appeal as the destination of choice for not just pizza, but drinks as well.

Applying the same creativity to its cocktails as its pizzas, along with some of the classics, PizzaExpress will offer unique options including a new ‘Peroni Spritz’ which combines Aperol, grapefruit and the crisp taste of Peroni Nastro Azzurro and the ‘Bloody Mary’, which uses a base of the pizzeria’s fresh passata.

Diners and drinkers alike will be able to find their new favourites – just like they did when PizzaExpress introduced Peroni Nastro Azzurro to the UK.

PizzaExpress’ new brand proposition transcends just bricks and mortar. A vital part of the work the brand has done is to spend time with the people who run its sociable pizzerias across the country. These teams have been heavily involved in co-creating the new approach to unlock great experiences for customers.

As a result, the brand has focused on three areas; a leadership programme to develop its restaurant management teams across its pizzerias; a new service journey that focuses on social connection with customers and empowers teams to drive a deeper engagement with guests needs and flex service accordingly; and the brand has also updated its uniforms with a fresh new look based on feedback from the team.

The ‘test and learn’ format will also be seen in Leeds, as the brand opens its tenth pizzeria in the city. Located next to Leeds Arena, the pizzeria will officially launch in April using the same template as the Central London site.

Both openings will be bolstered by the launch of the brand’s Spring menu, which continues to demonstrate PizzaExpress’ innovative and forward-thinking approach to its food offering.

Zoe Bowley, Managing Director at PizzaExpress, said, “In-depth consumer and market research has helped us develop a new offering, which not only stays true to our incredible heritage and Peter’s original vision for the brand, but also helps us understand the critical elements to ‘future-proof’ the business. We’re extremely excited to be unveiling both our Langham Place, Oxford Circus and Leeds Arena pizzerias and look forward to taking learnings from this launch”.