Catching up with Pizza Pilgrims: adapting during COVID-19
We caught up with James, co-founder of Pizza Pilgrims, to talk about lockdown, pizzas in the post, and plans for the future.
Pizza Pilgrims brings authentically Neapolitan, slow-proved pizzas to hungry foodies across London and Oxford. Established in 2012 as a street food trader, Pizza Pilgrims has fast become one of the most popular pizza destinations in the capital. We chatted with co-founder James to talk about running a food business during lockdown, bringing out new products, and what's in store for the future.
Last time we caught up with you, the world was quite a different place! How have you and the rest of the Pizza Pilgrims team felt during such a challenging time for the restaurant industry?
When the UK went into lockdown and were forced to close all restaurants, we were, along with the rest of the hospitality sector, hugely concerned. As a business, we made the decision to quickly change tact and cater to a new public demand; fun activities to do inside and bringing restaurant dining to the home. We are glad that things are starting to return, super happy to have our teams making pizzas and doing what we do best!
Within the first couple of weeks of lockdown, you introduced DIY pizza kits for customers to make at home. Tell us a little bit about the product and why you decided to develop it?
We’ve always had this little idea in the back our minds when we found out you could basically make a bang-on Neapolitan pizza in frying pan, it just so happened that all the ingredients fit perfectly in a pizza box so it literally became pizza in the post. We wanted to create something fun and easy for people to use and do during lockdown and so it just made sense to launch it!
How have customers reacted to the kits?
We honestly could never has expected the feedback and reaction to the kits. We opened our online store with 50 kits, thinking that would see us through for the week and it sold out within seconds, the next day even faster, it was incredible to see and it’s been so amazing seeing everyone’s pizzas and topping hacks on Instagram.
We’re really excited to have your frying pan pizza kits available through City Pantry! How do you think they’ll benefit corporate customers?
We’ve seen that people have really enjoyed the idea of together-but-apart events, the kits are such a fun cook-along activity for companies to do over Zoom for Virtual Events or just a really nice little gift to say thank you, a team morale boost! We really hope that it brings teams together even while they are apart.
You’ve recently re-opened some of your pizzerias to sit-in customers. How did you prepare for that?
We’ve got an incredible ops team who have been cluing up on all the safety and prep for the opening of our pizzerias, from cleaning to social distancing. It’s been important to us that we’ve followed the rules but insured that everyone who comes to Pizza Pilgrims leaves happier than when they arrived.
What’s next for Pizza Pilgrims? Might we see some other DIY kits in the near future?
Definitely! Pizza Kits are here to stay and we are just working on growing and building what we can do with them, maybe some cheeky collabs and new topping options, it’s such a fun project that we are really proud of and can’t wait to see grow more!
Want to order some tasty pizza kits for your teams at home? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to order or take a look at the full menu by clicking the button below!