PizzaExpress opened its first Beijing location this week, marking the brand’s 500th restaurant worldwide. The company said Beijing is a “stepping stone” into Northern China, an area dominated by Yum! Brands’ Pizza Hut casual and delivery concepts.
"We're very excited about opening our first restaurant in Beijing with our unique offering of 'pizza in style,’ bridging the gap between fast food pizza and fine dining in the capital," International Managing Director Neil Wickers said in the release. "PizzaExpress is also about 'authentic Italian' as opposed to American pizza.
Wickers added that the company has big ambitions for the China market.
"However, at this stage our plan is to focus on opening one restaurant at a time, doing things properly and ensuring every customer has a brilliant experience. We are currently looking for new restaurant sites and hope to open the second site soon in the Chinese capital,” he said.
PizzaExpress was established in London in 1965 by Peter Boizot.