PizzaExpress launches delivery-based offshoot

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

PizzaExpress launches delivery-based offshoot Mac & Wings with Deliveroo

Related tags: PizzaExpress, delivery, Coronavirus

PizzaExpress is to launch its first 'virtual', delivery-only brand early next month.

Created in partnership with Deliveroo and called Mac & Wings, the group says the concept has been designed 'to cater for the ever-increasing demand for online delivery'.

The menu's development follows 'extensive' customer research, and features six variations of chicken wings such as lemon and herb, hot jalapeño, and cracked pepper with cheese; and seven variations of macaroni cheese including one with cajun chicken, another with ‘nduja, and one with pancetta. 

A selection of sides including cheesy garlic bread, potato wedges and calamari will also be available, alongside a selection of desserts and soft or alcoholic drinks.

Prices will start from £6.25.

Having been in the pipeline since the beginning of 2020, the initial test and learn phase of the launch will see Mac & Wings launch across 13 London-based PizzaExpress locations from 2 July, with plans for further rollout in the future.

“We’re constantly reviewing market trends and consumer insights to ensure we can stay connected with customers in new and innovative ways,” says Tom Hatcher, head of delivery and franchise at Pizza Express.

“The launch of Mac & Wings, our first virtual delivery brand, has been months in the making and comes at a time when consumer demand for restaurant quality food at home is higher than ever.”

“Mac & Wings uses the best quality ingredients to deliver a diverse and eclectic menu that is full of flavour and competitively priced. We will continue to work with our valued partners such as Deliveroo, to ensure we can cater for the ever-changing tastes and needs of consumers.”

It was first reported earlier this month​ that PizzaExpress was planning to launch a pasta delivery service in a bid to try and mitigate some of the losses caused by the Coronavirus crisis.

It follows reports in May that the group is believed to be considering a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), which would allow it to exit some or all of its loss-making sites.

Before the Coronavirus pandemic hit, the group said that fewer than ten of its 470 UK restaurants were loss-making.

However, the ongoing crisis is understood to have forced the firm to evaluate options for ensuring its future viability, and a CVA is one of several possibilities being considered.

The future viability of the company has been in question since May 2019 last year, when filings showed that the group made a pre-tax loss of £55m in 2018.

It was also revealed that PizzaExpress had debts of £1.12bn, including around £400m from a loan provided by its parent company, the Chinese-owned private equity group Hony Capital.

Responding to the reports at the time, a PizzaExpress spokesperson told BigHospitality​: “Our priorities during the Covid-19 pandemic remain clear - to look after our teams, to protect the business for the long term and to reopen successfully when the time is right.

"While planning for the future, we will undertake a comprehensive review of our business encompassing our restaurants, including the roll-out of Future Express, and planned digital innovations.

"When complete, and hopefully with greater clarity around how our restaurants can re-open safely, we will take the right steps to ensure PizzaExpress’ next 55 years are as successful as the last 55 years.” 

Related topics: Business

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