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PizzaExpress plans to expand India base

The Economic Times:  February, 2015

New Delhi: PizzaExpress, the global restaurant chain that differentiates itself from the QSR crowd by its premium casual dining ambience, is set to invest around Rs 150 crore to launch 50 restaurants across the country in the next five years.

PizzaExpress has entered the Delhi NCR market with the launch of its first restaurant in Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj. It plans to open its second restaurant in Gurgaon (Ambience Mall) next month as part of its strategy to tap into the fast-growing Indian casual dining market.

"I want PizzaExpress to become the benchmark for pizzas in India," says Ramit Bharti Mittal, head of strategy and business development for Atrium Restaurants India, which has brought the global restaurant chain into the country. "Clearly, there is more consumer awareness and demand for premium Italian offerings in India today and we believe that our product and restaurant experience are key differentiators for our brand.

PizzaExpress entered India in 2012 by opening its first restaurant in Mumbai. The global chain has six restaurants in Mumbai.

Within the organized food chain segment, casual dining is growing at over 18% (CAGR) and is estimated to reach around Rs 9,000 crore by 2018, according to industry estimates.

Indian and Chinese account for half of the preferred cuisines, while continental and Italian are fast picking up with around 11% market share.