An award-winning Margate restaurant is getting ready to open its first franchise.
GB•PIZZA•CO will open the new venue in November in Didsbury, a vibrant, leafy suburb of south Manchester.
The Marine Drive restaurant, which recently scooped a listing as a ‘local gem’ in the Waitrose Good Food Guide for 2018 for the fifth consecutive year, is owned by chef Rachel Seed and journalist Lisa Richards, along with Great Dane Henry!
Lisa said: “After five years working hard to create a successful, award-winning restaurant concept that revolves around quality and simplicity – and having been on a very steep, sometimes stressful, sometimes expensive learning curve – we feel that the time is right to replicate the formula across the UK. Like all small business owners, we’ve made mistakes, we’ve had successes and we’ve had disasters – we will bring and share that experience with our franchisees.
“Didsbury is the ideal location for our first franchise and Grant Ashdown is the ideal first franchisee. Didsbury reflects the neighbourhood feel that suits GB•PIZZA•CO – presenting opportunities to build meaningful relationships with customers and local suppliers, charities and community groups. Grant’s background running his own fashion business means he has the experience, sense of style and a big personality that make him a perfect representation of our brand. He also cooks a mean pizza! We are proud to have him as part of the GB•PIZZA•CO family.”
Unlike the traditional restaurant franchise offering – where a carbon copy of a business is the norm – GB•PIZZA•CO is offering a unique opportunity. They want to allow the franchisee an element of creative freedom, ensuring each site reflects the personality of the owner and the location they are in.
But specials will be location-specific and elements of the decoration will be left to the owner of each restaurant to inject their own personality.
A good example of this is the charity pizza. Lisa said: “Each restaurant will have a charity pizza, but the owner can choose who they support. GB•PIZZA•CO Margate has the Turner Contemporary pizza, with each pizza sold donating 50p to Turner’s inspiring educational programme. We’ve raised over £1,000 since we started. In Didsbury, Grant is choosing to support a local homeless charity. We’re delighted with his choice.”
GB Pizza in Margate has become a firm community favourite for the fantastic homemade sauces, perfect dough and buffalo mozzarella and local produce used to create the menu and for Lisa and Rachel’s love of the town they live in, which has seen them working with Turner Contemporary, giving away free pizzas to emergency services workers in the wake of the London terror attacks in June and by standing with others to show the extremist White Lives Matter marchers in Margate last year that love will always overcome hate.
The couple hope that spirit of community, as well as the great food, will be replicated in their latest venue.