Pizza Express rolls out Living Lab design

By Becky Paskin

- Last updated on GMT

The domed "ceiling" from Pizza Express's Richmond site is one feature to be rolled out
The domed "ceiling" from Pizza Express's Richmond site is one feature to be rolled out
Pizza Express is set to roll out the pioneering features from its Living Lab site in Richmond to the rest of its estate, starting with six “New Generation” restaurants penned to launch in the next two months.

Design features from the Richmond location such as the noise reducing dome-like pods and open theatrical pizza kitchens will become regular features across the group’s portfolio.

Five existing restaurants in Balham, Fulham, Brighton, Glasgow and Newbury will be the first to get the makeover treatment alongside a new site in Brent Cross.

Pizza Express intends to roll the concept out across its entire estate by the end of the year.

Each New Generation restaurant will feature several, if not all of the new brand signatures, although the group will decide on these on a site-by-site basis.

The new brand signatures will include:

• A kitchen stage that puts the performance of pizza making at the heart of each restaurant

• Acoustically engineered venues designed to eliminate unwanted sound, including sound absorbent domes that hang over tables from the ceiling to create an intimate acoustic chamber

• A calendar of themed events including Live Music Nights and Play Dough Hour that transform the restaurants into venues

• Service and layout that puts conversation first, from training staff to stimulate conversation with diners to giving tables more space to eat and socialise more intimately

Since launching the Living Lab in Richmond in October 2010, Pizza Express saw like-for-like sales rise by 15 per cent (20 per cent in the evenings), while 93 per cent of diners “positively enjoyed” their experience.

The first six Pizza Express New Generation restaurants will open from March.

Related topics: Business, Venues, Restaurants

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2 comments

Ian you've missed the point

Posted by Marcelo,

The conversastion training is to help waiters giving a better assistance to customers regarding food and drink. Also to make sure they do not interupt customers while they are having a great conversation.

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Last thing I want...

Posted by Ian Freeman,

...when I'm eating out is to have conversations with the staff! All I want is for them to serve quickly and efficiently and then leave us to get on with our own conversations!

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