PIZZA EXPRESS is to convert up to 50 of its restaurants into live entertainment venues as part of a plan to widen its premises’ appeal.
The company, which has 477 eateries across the UK, already has 20 live venues, including one in Maidstone and two in central London.
It revamped a site in Birmingham in 2016 and last year invested in its Pizza Express Live Holborn in London’s West End, where performers have included Goldie and Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp.
“It’s a cluttered market so what’s critical is to remain differentiated,” MD of Pizza Express Zoe Bowley told the Guardian newspaper.
“The sector has moved on and everybody has upped their game. Innovation is keeping the industry going.”
All of the restaurant chain’s sites with multiple levels are under review to assess if they would be suitable for live music. The company’s flagship Dean Street Jazz Club in London’s Soho has been a music venue since 1976 and featured performances from Jamie Cullum, Norah Jones and the late Amy Winehouse over the years.