Pizza Express has become the latest restaurant chain to cautiously reopen its doors with plans for delivery food from 13 sites across London.
The decision to reopen the sites over the next ten days comes as Wagamama, KFC, McDonald’s, Greggs and Subway are all making similar plans or have started trading again after shutting due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Pizza Express will deliver an edited menu from restaurants in ‘London Villages’, including Notting Hill, Balham and Fulham, where demand is highest.
Wagamama today announced a rapid and widespread reopening of 67 of its restaurants after ‘successful’ trials in London and Leeds.
The chain said it hopes to have 49 sites open for delivery by the start of June, with this expanding to 67 by the end of the month.
Meanwhile service station operator Moto said it will be reopening seven Costa drive-through cafes and have 27 Burger Kings open for takeway by Thursday.
Restaurants and bars have been allowed to remain open during lockdown but only for takeaways and deliveries.
However, many larger chains chose to shut completely, to protect staff from travelling to work.
The move by Pizza Express follows its rival Domino’s Pizza, which is offering a limited menu to ensure staff can work safely in kitchens and prep areas.
Zoe Bowley, managing director of Pizza Express in the UK and Ireland, said their first tentative steps would ‘enable us to programme the roll-out and ultimately pave the way for dine in the future.’
She added: ‘There has been huge rigour around all the right safety protocols so our teams feel comfortable, and then we can really demonstrate to customers how we are looking after the teams and ensure they trust the quality of the pizza they receive.’
Pizza Express branches opening for deliveries in London
Notting Hill Gate
Abbeville Road, Clapham
Wandsworth Trinity Road
Croydon George Street
Wagamama said it has devised a schedule of reopening new sites that will allow staff to slowly return to delivery-only work at their own discretion.
Emma Woods, Wagamama chief executive, said: ‘Over the past couple of months our focus has been on creating a safe working environment for our team members and our two-week trial has enabled our teams to return to work safely.
‘The next logical step for us is to open additional sites throughout the UK, this will still very much form a test and learn approach for the business.
‘The response of our return has been extremely positive and we look forward to our guests being able to get their Wagamama fix.’
After lockdown restrictions were introduced, Wagamama launched Wok From Home, a free video series teaching people to cook some of its most popular dishes, such as chicken katsu curry, from home.