Pizza Express teams up with Welcome Break to open its first ever motorway services restaurant

Oliver Gill
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The new Pizza Express will open in October

Pizza Express is to open its first ever motorway services restaurant, as the company aims to keep its "fingers on the pulse of the ever-changing wants" of the British public.

The pizzeria has teamed up Welcome Break and will open its motorway-side outlet at the Oxford M40 (junction 8a) site in October.

Pizza Express chief executive Richard Hodgson said the main challenge had been finding a motorway operator that could "ensure that the food and in-restaurant quality for which we are renowned is replicated".

He said: "We are confident that Welcome Break is the perfect partner to help us make this transition.”

Read more: Sales up but Pizza Express struggles to keep its slice of UK dining market

And today's announcement could be the start of Pizza Express rolling out many more eateries on the roadside.

"Our joint aim is to open many more Pizza Express restaurants across our motorway amenities," said Welcome Break chief executive Rod McKie.

Launched in 1959, Welcome Break now runs 27 service stations across the UK and employs more than 5,500 people. It operates 22 Days Inn and seven Ramada hotels as well as 17 drive-thru Starbucks and 18 Harry Ramsden's fish and chip shop outlets.

Read more: Finally, you can get Pizza Express delivered to your door

McKie added: "In recent years we have witnessed a growing trend with our customers, both business and leisure, to spend more time at our service stations and to be able to enjoy a dining experience comparable to that on the high street."

The Oxford services Pizza Express will accommodate 88 customers and be open 364 days a year from 11am to 10pm. The new opening will create 40 jobs in the local area.

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