How I Got Here: Phil Peters

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

How I Got Here: Phil Peters MD Happy Face Pizza London

Related tags: Happy Face Pizza, Casual dining, R200, Multi-site, Pizza

The MD of Neapolitan pizza group Happy Face Pizza, which recently launched its third London restaurant, on his best and worst business decisions, and how he would change the industry.

Why restaurants?
The right opportunity at the right time – plus I love food.

Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
Cash is king!

What’s your favourite restaurant or group of restaurants (besides your own)?

What motivates you?
My 18-month old daughter.

What keeps you up at night?
My 18-month old daughter!

Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business?
Two great mentors when I first entered the industry – Maurice Abboudi and Jamie Barber.

What time do you wake up?

Coffee or tea?

How often do you check your email?
Too often.

How do you let off steam?
Football – watching it, playing it, refereeing it.

Do you prefer a night on the tiles or a night on the sofa?

What’s your signature dish to cook at home?

Typical Sunday?
Refereeing in the morning, spend time with family in the afternoon, and curry in the evening.

What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Quitting my role as ops director at Tesco to join Chinese takeout group Zing Zing.

Favourite holiday destination?

What was your dream job growing up?

Best business decision?
Hiring my current GMs.

Worst business decision?
Accidentally ordering one tonne of broccoli.

What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business?
Challenge everything and everyone.

If you could change one thing about the restaurant industry today, what would it be?
More genuine opportunities for young people to enter hospitality as a profession.


Born in London, Peters studied Philosophy and Politics at the University of Birmingham. His early career saw him work as a management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and later as operations development manager for Tesco. He entered the hospitality sector for the first time as operations director of London-based neighbourhood Chinese takeout firm Zing Zing, where he also worked as managing director. He joined Happy Face Pizza, which has sites in Brent Cross, Kings Cross and Victoria, as managing director in 2021.

Related topics: People, Profiles, Casual Dining

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