PizzaExpress - UAE Market Evaluation


About the brand

Founded in 1965 by Peter Boizot, PizzaExpress opened its first restaurant in London’s Wardour Street. Inspired by a trip to Italy, Boizot brought back to London a pizza oven from Naples and a chef from Sicily. PizzaExpress has over 400 restaurants across the United Kingdom and 40 overseas in Europe, Hong Kong, India and the Middle East.

Pizza Express

The Challenge/Task

Pizza Express entered the UAE 16 years ago under franchise and now operates three concepts:

• Pizza Express
• Jazz@PizzaExpress
• Pizza Express Kidzania

Following Hony Capital’s buyback in 2015, the international management team asked Pragma to assess the business in Dubai, Fujairah and Al Rashidiya, in order to inform the growth strategy for the wider territory and optimise the current execution.


  • Quick wins (specific improvements in fascia, menu design, and steps of service)

  • Optimisation (consistency across fascia, branding, and pricing, with local flex in décor, range and promotions)

  • Roll-out and growth (format segmentation, locations, delivery and partnerships)

  • Ongoing marketing and communications activity (how to drive awareness and improve daytime trade)

The Result

Pragma delivered its findings to the international management team who are currently reviewing the menu, pricing and concept. There are plans to introduce a revised menu in 2016 and the estate continues to grow in the region; Jazz@PizzaExpress opened in Abu Dhabi in 2015 and management are looking to open a further branch in Dubai this year.