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Pizza Pilgrims to expand to Scotland and Wales after record profits

James (left) and Thom Elliot, co founders of Pizza Pilgrims (Daniel Hambury/@stellapicsltd/PA)
James (left) and Thom Elliot, co founders of Pizza Pilgrims (Daniel Hambury/@stellapicsltd/PA)

Pizza Pilgrims has announced plans to expand into Scotland and Wales.

The chain, which already has 22 pizzerias in England, has largely focused on London, where its first pizza slice was sold out of a van in Soho.

It now plans to open four more sites – Cardiff in August and Edinburgh by December, Euston in London in June and King’s Cross, London, in August.

Pizza Pilgrims was founded in 2012 by brothers Thom and James Elliott after they quit their jobs to embark on a six-week pizza “pilgrimage” through Italy.

They scoured the country for the best pizzas, with the results filmed for an Apple TV series called James And Thom’s Pizza Pilgrimage.

Pizza Pilgrims
The brothers scoured Italy for the best pizzas, with the results filmed for an Apple TV series called James And Thom’s Pizza Pilgrimage (Pizza Pilgrims/PA)

Since then they have turned their business from a single pizza van to a multimillion pound business, with a workforce of 480 people serving up to 50,000 pizzas a week.

In the year to June 25 2023, the most recent accounts, revenue increased by 37% from £21 million to £28.7 million, and pre-tax profit more than doubled from £300,000 to £700,000. At the time of the figures Pizza Pilgrims had 20 trading sites.

The company said the best-selling pizzas in the year under review were the margherita and the double pepperoni and hot honey.

Outside London, Pizza Pilgrims has sites in Leeds, Brighton, Nottingham and Cambridge.

During the pandemic the company launched its Pizza In The Post initiative, where customers were sent their own pizza to DIY craft at home.

This has recently been followed by Pizza At Home kits in collaboration with Ocado. Eat-out sales, including Deliveroo, now account for 19% of the company’s income.

Thom Elliot, co-founder of Pizza Pilgrims, said they remain focused on building a “sustainable business”.

“This year will see four new openings, including our inaugural pizzerias in Scotland and Wales, as we continue to demonstrate that sustainable growth remains an output of running a great business, rather than our sole focus.

“We continue to love the journey and look forward to bringing our team’s legendary Neapolitan hospitality to our growing band of pilgrims in new cities up and down the land.”