PIZZA Express is to reopen 13 restaurants in London for delivery services as coronavirus lockdown measures are eased.
The decision to reopen the sites over the next 10 days comes as Wagamama, KFC, McDonald's, Greggs and Subway all make similar plans or have started trading again months after closing down due to coronavirus.
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The chain will be running a limited menu from branches in "London villages", including Notting Hill, Balham and Fulham, where chain is most popular.
Zoe Bowley, managing director of Pizza Express revealed the plans in an industry newsletter.
She said: "We will do this to test and learn, and then it will enable us to programme the roll-out and ultimately pave the way for dine in the future."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered all pubs, restaurants, cafes and bars to temporarily shut up shop on March 20 to stop the spread of the deadly COVID-19.
Pizza Express stores reopening
PIZZA Express is reopening 13 branches in London for delivery orders. These are:
- Abbeville Road
- Belsize Park
- Croydon George Street
- Fulham Road
- Notting Hill Gate
- Shepherds Bush
- Wandsworth Trinity Road
Even though they were allowed to continue trading for deliveries and takeaways, many of the biggest high street chains stop taking all orders to protect staff from travelling to work.
Ms Bowley added Pizza Express would be following rival Domino's Pizza, by offering a limited menu at first, to ensure staff can work safely in kitchens and prep areas.
She wrote: "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."
The move follows Wagamama revealing plans to reopen 67 restaurants for delivery by the end of June.
And by Thursday, service station business Moto said it will reopen seven Costa drive-throughs and have 27 Burger Kings open for takeaway to the public.
The government has already warned that pubs – along with hairdressers, cinemas and restaurants – won't be able to fully reopen until July "at the earliest".
In the meantime, some pubs are offering takeaways, like Greene King which is launching a new pub grub food delivery and click and collect trial from this week.
But what will happen when pubs fully reopen their doors? Find out how different they'll look.
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