Sir Charles Dunstone's Freston Road Investment to bring US pizza chain MoD to UK after Five Guys success

Kasmira Jefford
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Freston Road Investment eyes slice of pizza market (Source: Getty)

Sir Charles Dunstone has moved from backing burger joints to pizza chains after striking a joint venture agreement to bring US restaurant chain MOD Pizza to Britain.

MoD, which stands for Made on Demand, allows customers to pile as many toppings as they want on their artisan-style pizza base for the same fixed price.

It was founded in 2008 by entrepreneurs Scott and Ally Svenson, who have since grown it into a chain of 68 restaurants across 12 US states with a forecast turnover this year of $60 (£39m).

The Seattle-based company said it will work with Dunstone and his business partner, the former deputy chairman of Dixons Carphone, Roger Taylor, to launch MOD Pizza in the UK during the first half of 2016 followed by a rapid national roll-out.

The deal comes two years after Dunstone and Taylor’s investment vehicle Freston Road Investment launched US burger chain Five Guys in the UK. The pair have also backed online estate agency HouseSimple and student accommodation provider Student Castle

The Carphone Warehouse founder said: “With its compelling combination of superior food quality, value, speed and its culture of leveraging the business as a platform to do good, I believe MOD will translate extremely well across the UK. As one of the fastest growing food concepts in the US,I see a tremendous opportunity for MOD to disrupt the UK pizza scene with its ‘super fast’ pizza experience.”

MOD’s founders have had a taste of the UK market before after moving to London in the 1990s and launching a coffee chain inspired by the coffee bars back home called the Seattle Coffee Company. It grew to 64 sites and was later snapped up by Starbucks.

Ally Svenson said: “Launching MOD in the UK feels, in many ways, like we are bringing it home. While we are very proud of the incredible pizza that we serve, the MOD movement is about so much more. We judge our success not by the number of stores we open, but the number of lives we can impact, which is why we are so excited to continue our growth. Our product may be pizza, but our purpose is people.”

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