Capital expansion is just the beginning for pizzeria La Favorita

Head pizza chef Peter Pawlak at La Favorita in Leith Walk
Head pizza chef Peter Pawlak at La Favorita in Leith Walk
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AN award-winning Capital pizzeria is planning to expand across the city and then the UK after seeing a huge boost in business.

La Favorita, which opened its original restaurant on Leith Walk, is already looking to move into the north and west of the Capital next year following the success of its second branch on Morningside Road, which has been serving more than 2000 customers a week since it opened three months ago.

It is now setting its sights on opening up restaurants across the UK within the next five years.

Owner Tony Crolla said demand for the award-winning pizza topped other establishments.

“I think there’s always a demand for good pizza, even in the recession and we’re proving that,” he said.

“I wouldn’t have set up a new business unless there was demand for it and it has been great so far. We’re serving more than 2000 customers a week and we don’t go outside EH10, it’s all Morningside residents using it.

“I think the place needed a pizza shop like ours as we’re traditional, use wood-fired stoves and really fresh ingredients. It’s a lot of hard work goes into them which is appreciated by our clientele.

“Our customers keep asking us when we’re going to set one up in their area, so we’re going where they want us.”

The business is in the final stages of negotiations to open two sites in the Portobello/Joppa side of town and in the Corstorphine/Blackhall area.

Each takeaway, with a small restaurant section, is set to create another 18 jobs including front-of-house, kitchen staff and delivery drivers.

Operations director Kenny Scott said other businesses would benefit from the £200,000 developments, with all outsourced work going to Edinburgh-based firms.

“We use Edinburgh businesses for our signage, our graphic designing, a lot of our food is sourced locally. Our delivery drivers and other staff are from the area it’s based in so there’s a large benefit to a lot of people in Edinburgh when we open a new place.”

The high-end pizza producer will then be rolled out to other parts of Scotland, with the view to opening stores across the UK within five years, added Mr Scott.

“The first shop outside Edinburgh will be towards the end of 2013, with Livingston being the likely destination.

“With the help of our excellent staff we believe that it is possible to grow into a major group, expanding south over the next five years. Our aim is to open 50 in total across the UK.

“If we pull these off we will be the only chain like this to come from Edinburgh, or even Scotland which is really exciting.”