PizzaExpress is to open its first ever motorway service site, in partnership with the Welcome Break
The 88-seat restaurant will open near Oxford this October, at Junction 8A on the M40 motorway. It will open 364 days a year, open from 11am-10pm, and serve the brand’s full menu.
It will be the first PizzaExpress opening in a service station, although there are said to be further sites planned.
The move comes as Welcome Break states that customers are now looking to spend longer at service stations than in previous years, and that they are seeking a dining experience closer to that of the high street.
“The challenge with entering the motorway service network has been to find a partner where we can ensure that the food and in-restaurant quality for which we are renowned is replicated,” says Richard Hodgson, chief executive at PizzaExpress. “We are confident that Welcome Break is the perfect partner to help us make this transition.”
“I am very excited about this partnership with PizzaExpress,” says Welcome Break chief executive Rod McKie. “I am delighted that PizzaExpress will be able to offer that experience to our customers. Our joint aim is to open many more PizzaExpress restaurants across our motorway amenities.”
PizzaExpress first opened in London’s Soho in 1965, by founder Peter Boizot, and now operates over 600 restaurants globally.
Welcome Break operates 27 motorway service stations across the UK.
Other high-street brands to partner with the group include salad bar brand Tossed, currently at sites near Birchanger, South Mimms, Warwick, Cobham and Oxford.
There is also a branch of American diner group, Ed’s Easy Diner, at South Mimms; along with 18 Harry Ramsden’s fish and chip shops, and 17 Starbucks Drive Thrus, plus branches of KFC, Burger King, Subway, WHSmith and Waitrose.