Q&A: Does Pizza Express Franchise in the UK?

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pizza express franchise

You donít have to walk far on a British high street to come across the classic Pizza Express logo. If youíre budding entrepreneur with a taste for Italian food, you might have wondered whether itís possible to own your own Pizza Express franchise in the UK. Read on to find outÖ

Over the years, Pizza Express has become one of the countryís most popular pizza restaurants. Established in London in 1965, customers have the chainís founder, Peter Boizot to thank for the authentic taste of Italy they experience when they dine in a Pizza Express restaurant. Dissatisfied with the standard of pizzas in London, Boizot bought a pizza oven from Italy and launched his own pizza restaurant.

His legacy lives on in the success of the hugely popular restaurant chain. Today, customers all over the world can enjoy Pizza Expressí offering, in Cyprus, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Kuwait, Qatar and UAE, as well as in the UK and Ireland. The 627 restaurants that cater to the international crowd of customers employ a total of 14,000 team members and generate over £543 million in revenue.

Does Pizza Express franchise in the UK?

Unfortunately, Pizza Express does not offer franchising opportunities in the UK. However, you could choose to take a restaurant management or operations manager role if you are committed to joining the brand one way or another. Click here to be redirected to Pizza Expressí career page.

Although it isnít currently possible to start a Pizza Express franchise, there are a large number of other exciting opportunities that you can stick your teeth into. But before we explore these in more depth, letís have a closer look at the current state of the pizza industry in the UK, so you can be sure about investing in this sector.

The pizza market in the UK

The pizza industry boasts some impressive statistics here in the UK. Weíve summarised them below:

  • Pizza is our second most popular choice when eating out
  • We eat 731 pizzas in our lifetime, costing around £9,725
  • 49 percent of us eat pizza at least once a week
  • Every year, we spend around £3 billion on pizza in the UK

Impressive right? If youíre convinced that running a pizza franchise is the right career move for you, below you can find five of our top pizza franchise picks.

Similar franchise opportunities

1. Bella Italia

This Italian pizza franchise is passionate about serving food that offers a Ďtrue taste of Italyí while providing a warm welcome to its customers - this is the secret ingredient to its loyal customer base. With Bella Italia boasting over 100 restaurants in the UK and Ireland, the contemporary brand has ample experience in the pizza sector.

  • Becoming a Bella Italia franchisee: The pizza restaurant business is actively looking for franchisees. It asks that candidates have a solid history in the food and beverage industry and have established a local network.
  • How much you need to invest: To be accepted as a franchisee, you need to make a minimum investment of £350,000 or a total investment of £700,000.
  • What you get for your investment: As well as being able to operate under the nationally recognised brand name, you will have access to an online operations portal, take part in tried and tested training programmes and benefit from quarterly reviews.

bella italia


Wolf offers authentic Italian food sold from street food stalls up and down the UK. It is proud to sell only high-quality, hand-prepared Italian dishes.

The concept has been designed to be a low-skill, high-quality operation that has strong branding and mass appeal. The stores can operate on an A1 store footprint from morning to night providing breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as alcohol (subject to licensing).

  • Becoming a Wolf franchisee: Wolf is looking for multi-unit franchisees across the UK.
  • How much you need to invest: Investors looking to join the brand should be prepared to make an investment of £200,000 and pay £15,000 in franchise fees.
  • What you get for your investment: To name just a few things, youíll get to operate under the guidance of an operations director with over 25 years of experience in the industry, take part in a month-long training programme and use an established national supply chain.

3. Fireaway

Fireaway puts the fast in fast food. This pizza franchise offers its customers authentic, Italian, stone-fired pizza in just three minutes. But just because theyíre served in record time doesnít mean the pizzas compromise on taste or quality. The business launched in 2011 and has since opened 17 stores in the London area. Itís set to open even more too!

  • Becoming a Fireaway franchisee: Because Fireawayís current ambition is to drastically increase its UK presence, it isnít trying to make profits from its franchisees.
  • How much you need to invest: To become a Fireaway franchisee, you need to make a total investment of £49,000. The expected revenue after two years is an impressive £500,000.
  • What you get for your investment: Fireaway will sort out marketing and supply the most talented chefs from Italy to make sure that the brandís high standards are maintained across every franchise location. So, why wait? Head to its client page here to find out more and apply.

4. NKD Pizza

NKD Pizza serves up healthy and tasty pizzas made from its signature 10-grain dough. Its business model has proved successful across the globe and itís now looking for UK franchisees to help continue its impressive growth.

  • Becoming a NKD Pizza franchisee: If you want to get on board with this pizza delivery franchise, click here to register your interest.
  • How much you need to invest: Youíll need to have access to a minimum investment of £180,000 to be accepted onto the franchise programme.
  • What you get for your investment: You will receive full training, 24/7 support and state-of-the-art marketing tools. Also, youíll have the opportunity to become a multi-unit operator.

5. Papa Johnís

As a leading pizza delivery chain, Papa Johnís offers thick crust pizza, dough-based snacks, drinks and desserts. Founded in the US in the 1980s, Papa Johnís expanded into the UK in 2000 and now has more than 5,000 branches across 45 countries worldwide, achieving an annual revenue that exceeds $3 billion.

  • Becoming a Papa Johnís franchisee: Investors looking for a slice of the action do not need previous experience with a food franchise, as long as they are business-oriented and possess good communication skills.
  • How much you need to invest: A minimum investment of £100,000 and £18,500 in franchise fees will be required to get a Papa Johnís store up and running.
  • What you get for your investment: New franchisees will benefit from a six-week training scheme that includes marketing support, as well as a royalty reduction programme and a free oven.

Start a pizza franchise

Still not convinced? Check out another one of our articles about the eight advantages of running a pizza franchise here. If you want to focus on the lucrative and evolving pizza delivery market, you can read more about our top five pizza delivery franchises.

Find out about who Pizza Expressí CEO is here.

>> Read more articles on the Pizza sector

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