Pizza Express has been named as the UK’s favourite casual dining brand

Although the casual dining sector is still facing challenges

Updated on 18 September 2019 • Written By Eamonn Crowe

Pizza Express has been named as the UK’s favourite casual dining brand

Pizza Express has been named the UK’s most popular casual dining brand.

The restaurant group’s win was announced in the “Brand Health Rankings in the Fast Food and Pubs” category of a recent YouGov report. The findings listed 1,500 UK brands, with the recognisable likes of Nando’s and Wagamama also ranking highly.

Speaking about their win, Pizza Express marketing director Amanda Royston said: “We’re thrilled to be the number one casual dining brand to represent the restaurant industry within YouGov’s recent announcement.”

“We’ve been providing ‘good times, together’ across our UK pizzerias for just under 54-year’s and so it’s fantastic to receive this independent recognition.”

The very first Pizza Express opened its doors in 1965 and the group currently operate more than 500 locations across the UK. Pizza Express mainly serves Romana-style pizzas, and appears to have fought off stiff competition from smaller brands such as Pizza Pilgrims and Franco Manca, who serve Neapolitan-style bases.

Popular pizzas on the menu at Pizza Express include the American Hot and the Carbonara Romana, while the restaurant also serves a selection of starters and pastas, as well as dedicated gluten-free and vegan menus.  

The news comes at a tough time for the casual dining sector, which has seen several closures across a handful of high street brands within the last year. Most notably, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s expansive restaurant empire collapsed in May, leading to the closure of almost all of his Jamie’s Italian sites in the UK, as well as his more upmarket London concepts such as Fifteen and Barbecoa.

Although Oliver’s brand is the most prominent casualty of the high street, several other casual dining groups have also had to scale back in recent times, including Byron Burger, Carluccio’s and Strada.

There’s more to London’s pizza scene than just Pizza Express though – check out our pick of the best pizzas you can find in the capital.