Pizza Rossa hungry for a slice of City lunchtime trade

By Carina Perkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pizza, London

Pizza Rossa hopes to open at least 15 sites in the City over the next five years
Pizza Rossa hopes to open at least 15 sites in the City over the next five years
Pizza grab-and-go concept Pizza Rossa will open its first outlets in the City later this year after breaking a European record for securing start-up funding through crowdfunding.

The brainchild of Italian chartered-engineer Corrado Accardi, Pizza Rossa aims to bring 'pizza al taglio' – pizza by the square slice – to the streets of London.

The venture raised 157 per cent of the capital needed - £440,000 – in just 17 days from over 100 people and is close to securing its first three sites in the City.

It hopes to open its first outlet – a pop-up in a ‘prominent’ position in the Square Mile, next month.

Market gap

Pizza Rossa aims to fill a gap in the market for high quality pizza-to-go, satisfying the needs of city workers who want quality, tasty, healthier food even when time is short.

“Because of the way we make it, the dough of our pizzas itself is vegan and highly digestable so if you eat it for lunch you won’t feel bloated afterwards,” explained Accardi.

“It is also low calorie – our slices of pizza will be in most cases under 300 calories. We will also have types of pizza that satisfy the requirement for one of your five-a-day, and others which will be perfect to eat on the down-days of the 5:2 diet.”

The brand also puts an emphasis on convenience, with plans to serve within 90 seconds from ordering.

Italian-living

Accardi told BigHospitality he first had the idea for the business back in 2009, but only put together a proper business plan when he started to study at the London Business School.

“I have been living in London for 12 years now and I have always had to eat outside for lunch, so coming from Italy where there are some 15,000 of these pizzarias by the slice, there was clearly something missing,” he explained.

“Once it came out that it was something very appealing, not only feasible, I decided to investigate further and go deeper into it.”

He enrolled on a course in professional pizza making in Italy, and worked at a takeaway pizzeria for three months after returning to London to get the inside track on how they work.

Pizza Rossa went on to win the 2013 London Business School ‘Best Business Plan’ competition and was runner up in the 2013 European Business Plan of the Year competition.  It was also invited to join the London Business School Incubator programme, which is open to ‘high potential’ start-ups.

“All that gave us a lot of credibility when it came to launching the crowdfunding campaign,” explained Accardi.

Expansion plans

Accardi hopes to open at least 15 Pizza Rossa sites in central London over the next five years, but also has ambitions to expand further across the UK.

"I see potential for more than 20 outlets in the City alone," he explained. “There is also big opportunity for other metropolitan areas in the UK, as well as petrol stations, airports, railway stations."

He is also considering franchising the idea abroad, and has received expressions of interest from elsewhere in Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East and the Far East.

For now, he said the pop-up would allow the business to test its assumptions, equipment and operations before rolling out across permanent sites.

"Having a pop up is less risky, it doesn’t expose the company to a ten year lease or to costly mistakes in case some of the equipment is not right," he said.

Related topics: Openings

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