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Now Stelios turns his hand to pizza

09 February 2006

Serial entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou has turned his attention to the fast-food business with the launch of EasyPizza.

The creator and chairman of EasyGroup, which includes EasyHotel and EasyCruise, last week announced the first franchise of EasyPizza in Segensworth East, Portsmouth.

"Anyone can produce cheap pizza, but we haven't compromised on quality and service standards," said Stelios.

EasyPizza will operate through existing, independent pizza businesses in a process known as "co-habiting". Both brands co-habit under one roof, allowing operators to leverage their fixed costs by running two businesses from the same premises.

EasyPizzas come in only one size, 11½in, and 10 flavours, including The Big Cheese, El-Stel, Hawaiian and Meaty Mania. The pizzas are made in a central kitchen, frozen and then delivered to franchisees in their packaging. Operators then reheat the pizzas in a special oven and deliver them through their existing network. No extra staff or overheads are required.

"We don't make any apologies for selling a product which is frozen," said Stelios. "It's the only way to have an efficient franchise system because it's the ultimate quality control."

EasyPizza is the first brand to publish the nutritional values of its products. Half of an average EasyPizza contains 700-800 calories. Stelios said: "We're a responsible company and it's only fair to tell people they should eat our product in moderation."

Stelios declined to comment on the projected growth of the new brand.

By Jessica Gunn

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