RestaurantsLondonN10

survey result

Summary

£53
   ££
1
Poor
2
Average
1
Poor
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“They have lost the plot since their glory days” and it’s increasingly unclear why we continue to review this “vibeless” high-street brand (est. 1965): nowadays solely recommendable as a kid-friendly emergency stand-by. For decades it was the gold standard of chain dining in the UK, but poor scores support those who feel “its decline has sadly continued” since, in 2021, its ownership passed to its bond holders. Recent developments include a new logo, bold new colours, pizza wraps ‘to go’ and a major curtailing of the cut-price deals for which the group had become notorious. And yet still ratings slide and even more positive reviews are often muted (“some of the new offerings are quite good…”; “nothing to complain about which shows improvement…”). However you cut it, what’s undeniable is that, “there are so many hugely better pizzerias around”.

Summary

£55
   ££
1
Poor
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Probably gradually getting worse, but you know what you are going to get… if you can work out the discount codes…” – this 56-year-old, high-street pizza chain still enjoys a high amount of lingering support from reporters, who haven’t quite given up on it yet. Once the UK’s ‘gold standard’ for chain dining, its performance in recent years has nose-dived, especially the ambience rating. Hony Capital (“the former Chinese private equity owners, who were ruining this once-great business”) have recently “exited with their tails between their legs” and it’s now in the hands of its debtors, who – during the pandemic – closed 73 restaurants with the loss of over 1,100 jobs. “Hopefully the new owners will return the chain to what it once was: first step should be to remove the extra tables which were crammed in making it an almost communal dining experience… always going to be disastrous given the number of kids ever present”. There’s hope, as in September 2021 the new team announced the refurb of 300 sites.

Summary

£50
   ££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Entering its 56th year, the granddaddy of all UK pizza chains has “survived the passing of time”, and is still hanging in there. These past five years have not been vintage ones for the brand, however – since its takeover by Hony Capital in 2014, “the whole experience seems a bit more soulless” and, after a continual slide, its ratings bottomed out somewhere between “just so average” and “all-in-all not bad”. As “a good introduction for kids to eating out” however, it still enjoys massive support thanks to its “kind and supportive service given to frazzled grandparents and over-excited grandsons”. Some wider hope comes from the “improved” Oxford Circus branch which is the prototype of a promising new look (“with a central bar feature, at which you can eat if you prefer, plus draught Peroni and a better menu,which has brought some desperately-needed vigour back to this tired chain”). At the end of October 2020 in reaction to the pandemic, the chain announced 1,100 job losses at 73 sites, although no actual closures amongst its total of 370 sites were involved.

Summary

£50
   ££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Entering its 55th year, the granddaddy of all UK pizza chains has “survived the passing of time”. These past five years have not been vintage ones for the brand, however – since its takeover by Hony Capital in 2014, “the whole experience seems a bit more soulless” and, after a continual slide, its ratings have bottomed out somewhere between “just so average” and “all-in-all not bad”. As “a good introduction for kids to eating out” however, it still enjoys massive support thanks to its “kind and supportive service given to frazzled grandparents and over-excited grandsons”. Some wider hope comes from the recently “much-improved” Oxford Circus branch which is the prototype of a promising new look (“newly revamped with a central bar feature, at which you can eat if you prefer, plus draught Peroni and a better menu has brought some desperately-needed vigour back to this tired chain”). “Only a few more hundred branches to refurb now...”

For 32 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at PizzaExpress?

Restaurant details

Highchair
Yes
No dress code

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