Dodo scopes new sites

By Finn Scott-Delany

- Last updated on GMT

Dodo Pizza scopes new sites

Related tags: Pizza delivery

Russian-founded pizza delivery brand Dodo Pizza is targeting a number of new openings for 2021, as it prepares to launch a new site under a revamped concept later this month.

The chain, which has around 660 sites worldwide, and four in England, is targeting Banbury, Oxford, Warwick, Cheltenham Spa, and Stratford-upon-Avon.

The hunt for new sites is being led by David Sweeney, formerly of Burger King and Papa John’s.

Previous UK openings, such as Coventry, have seen former Pizza Hut franchise owners convert to Dodo.

The planned expansion drive comes as the company prepares to launch a next generation concept in Leamington Spa later this month, which will focus on a lighter, Roman style of pizza.

The new store represents an overhaul for the brand in the UK, which has so far focussed on American style pizzas, but has been unable to gain sufficient traction in the UK against Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s.

The new offering involves a square-shaped, twice-baked crust, which is made with more water and so is lighter.

The concept will focus on delivery and takeaway only, and Dodo has now come off third party delivery platforms, and plans to do all delivery itself to become “the fastest fast-casual pizza delivery out there”.

The brand has developed its own proprietary digital platform, to make its operations more efficient, and has a company policy of “radical transparency”, where it shares individual store sales, and the development process behind new ideas.

It has launched two new concepts in Moscow this year, a digital coffee shop called Drinkit, and a kebab shop called Doner 42, under its start-up division Dodo Brands.

Max Kotin, Dodo’s chief storyteller, said: “Crisis is a time to grow. Our pizza shop in Leamington Spa is still under construction. Yet we’re beginning the search for new locations in the UK.

“We’re planning a few new openings next year.

“Our team is especially interested in the Leamington-Cheltenham-Oxford triangle. We call it the Dodo Triangle.

“If you followed our story in the UK, you might think that this move is a bit premature and risky. After all, we’re launching with an entirely new delivery/takeaway-only concept built around a new type of Roman-style dough. Nobody knows what will happen when we open our doors in December.

“But for us, there is no turning back. We’ll make it a success, this store, and the next one, and the next. That’s why we are planning expansion even before the launch of the first company-owned unit.

“We’ll keep pushing forward until we reach our goals.”

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