UK-based pizza chain PizzaExpress is again trying its luck in India, choosing a new local partner.
The chain, through its JV partner, Bharti family-owned Gourmet Investments, has opened its first outlet in the country, in Mumbai.
In addition to the mainstay pizza menu, the chain also offers salads, deserts, starters and hot and cold beverages.
PizzaExpress first entered India eight years ago through a partnership with V K Modi Group, however, it failed to compete with rivals Pizza Hut which has more than 120 outlets and Domino’s Pizza which has more than 500 outlets.
PizzaExpress said this time it will expand rapidly in the country, but it did not detail its roll-out plan.
“India is clearly the market of the future and as we expand our presence in the country we aim to close the gap between fine dining and affordable fast food through our product offerings,” said PizzaExpress International MD Neil Wickers.
“It will be our aim to be amongst the top casual dining brands in India in the years to come,” he said.
Ramit Bharti Mittal, director of Gourmet Investments, is confident Indians will embrace the British pizza brand with its product-mix designed for the Indian market.
“We have slightly tailored our offer to further appeal to local customers by removing beef from the menu, adding more vegetables, and increasing the spice of some pizzas,” said CEO Harvey Smyth of Gondola Group, which owns PizzaExpress.