British sourdough pizza chain Franco Manca is on the rise as it unveils plans to crack Italy

 
Rebecca Smith
Franco Manca has 28 London restaurants
Franco Manca has 28 London restaurants (Source: Franco Manca)

Has Franco Manca bitten off more than it can chew?

The UK-based sourdough pizza chain has just announced some rather big plans: it's only going to try and crack Italy.

According to the chain's Aim-listed owner Fulham Shore, Franco Manca is setting up shop on the island of Salina, north of Sicily.

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The restaurant has been solidly expanding since starting life in the capital, opening its first store in Brixton back in 2008. It now has 33 restaurants across the UK, with its latest in Putney opening last week.

Franco Manca was bought by The Fulham Store, which also owns The Real Greek and Bukowski Grill, in April 2015.

In a trading update, Fulham Shore said Franco Manca was "further strengthening its ties with Italy by joining its founder, Giuseppe Mascoli, in opening a seasonal Franco Manca pizzeria by the sea".

Mascoli, who is from Naples, sold his business for £27.3m and took a five per cent stake in Fulham Shore.

The new restaurant will be operated as a franchise and Franco Manca will invest approximately £100,000 alongside local and international investors.

The chain has opened 13 new pizzerias over the course of the year and the plan is to grow this to 45 by the end of the 2018 financial year.

Read more: Franco Manca pizzas serve up profit rise for owner Fulham Shore

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