The sunshine extends beyond the sky on this beautiful spring morning. Things must be looking up when you read that today (Thursday 22 April) Pizza Express will be recruiting up to 1,000 new members of staff as it prepares for a re-opening across the UK on 17 May.
Checking back amongst our archives, the NTI newsroom have run four previous stories about the (what-we-consider-to-be) up-market pizza restaurant, all of them describing a slalom down a steep hill of insolvency interventions. However, this latest one, in common with many recent stories, talks up the future of the business with a recruitment drive at its 360 restaurants, 118 of which sport al fresco dining opportunities having already welcomed doughball diners back to its tills.
We wanted to post this bulletin online early doors in case your cousin Dave is looking for a job and fancies brushing up the phrase, "deep pan or thin crust?" This is, of course, unless your cousin Dave's surname is Cameron, in which case we suggest he focuses on getting his phone records in order, as he may be a little busier than he previously thought in the next month or two.
The closure of 73 Pizza Express restaurants in 2020 resulted in the loss of 1,100 jobs while a further 1,300 redundancies were announced as part of cost-cutting measures. Those were horrible days when we thought we may never experience a truly wonderful American Hot with a soft egg on it again. However, this new nationwide recruitment campaign across the group’s eateries will include 300 posts under the Government’s Kickstart initiative. A little background whilst you are awaiting your olives and sundried tomato chasers; the company was acquired by Beijing-based Hony Capital in 2014 in an £873 million deal. Under a restructuring in November, Hony retained the Chinese business but handed the keys to the rest of the group to its bondholders. They brought in the biggest of wigs, with hard-hitting Allan Leighton becoming the chair and David Campbell, the erstwhile Wagamama chief executive, taking the reins as group chief executive.
They are good to go. Now, call Dave and tell him to get down to his local Pizza Express sharpish and to brush up on his food Italian.