Rapidly growing pizza chain gets approval for Ipswich restaurant

Jennings Bet in Upper Brook Street, Ipswich closed last year. Photo: Archant.

Jennings Bet in Upper Brook Street, Ipswich closed last year. Photo: Archant. - Credit: Archant

A rapidly growing pizza chain is set to come to Ipswich - after plans for a new restaurant were approved.

Fireaway Pizza was launched five years ago by Mario Aleppo in a single store in south London.

It now has 61 stores nationwide and turns over £500,000 a week.

The chain, which bills itself as "the home of the Nutella pizza", applied for planning permission to turn the former Jennings Bet bookmakers, in Upper Brook Street, into a restaurant and takeaway in November.

In February, Ipswich Borough Council granted full planning permission.

While it is not know when the Ipswich restaurant will open, the chain is rapidly expanding — having just opened a site in Norwich. Nine more branches are listed on their website as "coming soon".

Mario Aleppo, the chain's founder, puts the firm's success down to the quality of its food.

Fireaway Pizza

Fireaway Pizza - Credit: Fireaway Pizza

He said: "I think what's worked so well is that there's a great offering for authentic and artisan food which - even though we franchise our brand - is where we started and how we operate.

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"We still get the vast majority of our ingredients - particularly the key ones like tomato sauce, cheese, and items for our bases - from Naples in Italy, which really adds a level of quality.

"When you look at the price of our pizzas compared to competitors, it's also very reasonable.

Fireaway Pizza has opened in Norwich

Fireaway Pizza has opened in Norwich - Credit: Fireaway Pizza

"I think that and the fact that our pizzas only take 180 seconds to cook is why the business has done so well.

"It's perfect for people who haven't got ages to wait but it's also cooked perfectly because our ovens are so hot."

The fact that customers can see their items being cooked in the open kitchen is also a driver for demand, Mr Aleppo said.

Nutella pizza from Fireaway Pizza

Nutella pizza from Fireaway Pizza - Credit: Fireaway Pizza

The business now has more than 60 stores - including franchised sites - and still has a raft of new openings to come including Bradford, Coventry and Andover.

He said: "We were opening stores - at least one every month - right the way through the pandemic.

"We had them planned to open to we couldn't change our mind and even though we couldn't have customers sit in demand for takeaway and delivery was so high our output stayed about the same."

When plans were submitted in November, they were welcomed by Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement. 

Paul Clement is flabbergasted at the spending on the Lowesoft crossing after the Ipswich bridges wer

Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement - Credit: Archant

He said: "“Bring it on! This is what we want to see in the town centre, more food and drink and more residential development – and more jobs is also very welcome. This is just the kind of thing we want to see."