PizzaExpress focuses on lunch trade with new ‘Express’ menu

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Restaurant

Let's do lunch: The new PizzaExpress menu includes smaller pizzas, soups and Piadinas
Let's do lunch: The new PizzaExpress menu includes smaller pizzas, soups and Piadinas
PizzaExpress is looking to grab an even bigger slice of the UK’s ever-growing lunch market with a major revamp of its menu to include cheaper ‘Express’ items available to take away. 

The new menu, which includes smaller pizzas, soups and Piadinas (bread pockets), will be available Monday to Friday, priced between £3.45 and £5.95.

“It’s easy to feel like you can’t escape for lunch on a busy day but taking time out allows you to push the reset button so you can tackle the afternoon head on,” said PizzaExpress’ brand director Rebecca Farrer.

“Two big considerations at lunchtime are speed and value. Our new lunch menu has been created so people don’t have to resign themselves to the same sandwich every day or only treat themselves on a Friday – they can get great value, handmade food throughout the week.”

PizzaExpress is now trialling the new lunch offering in just over 100 restaurants across the country.

The revamped menu includes: -

  • Piadinas (£4.95) ​- Bread pockets made using PizzaExpress’ dough, baked with Gran Moravia, sliced and filled.  There are five to choose from – one for each day of the week.
  • Salads (£4.95 to £5.45) – ​The PizzaExpress salads have been downsized for the  lunchtime offering. They include Nicoise, Pollo, Bosco, and the Leggera Superfood Salad.
  • Romanitas (£4.95 to £5.95) - ​Light enough for lunch, Romanitas are small versions of PizzaExpress’ thinner and crispier Romana pizzas. Eight existing toppings are available, including Margherita, American Hot and Pomodoro Pesto.  

This new offering from PizzaExpress comes at a time that the lunchtime market – already worth over £15bn to the UK foodservice sector – is taking a growing share of overall sales as consumers are increasingly looking to grab something quick, cheap and easy to eat on a daily basis.

Lunchtime market

Growth over the past few years has outperformed what is essentially a flat market overall. According to foodservice consultancy Horizons, lunch business risen every year since the recession.

“We expect this growth to continue and expect the lunch market to account for closer to 36 per cent of the total foodservice sector in 2014,” said Horizons’ director of marketing and business development Emma Read.

“Driving the lunch market is the fact that time-pressed consumers no longer make their own lunch, preferring quick options wherever they are. They are also prompted to eat out by money-off vouchers and meal deals, many of which are predominantly lunch-based. Work pressure also means that consumers are more likely to opt for a takeaway to eat at their desk.”

PizzaExpress has also launched a new menu for spring, which features 10 new dishes including a wider range of its low-calorie Leggera dishes that all contain fewer than 500 calories. There are also four new gluten-free options and a cheese-free pizza that is suitable for vegans.

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