Corporate profile

A new way to earn a crust

PizzaExpress’ new corporate rewards and incentives arm has an innovative range of digital and plastic solutions to help people’s dough stretch further when dining out


There can’t be many foods that inspire the same passion that pizza does, and fewer still that can boast its versatility and availability. Whether you’re looking for a takeaway snack, a tasty family meal or a gourmet experience, there are pizzas and eating establishments out there that can cater for any dough-fuelled dining need. 

One of the best-known and most enduring pizza brands in the UK is PizzaExpress, the casual dining chain that was founded in London in 1965. In the succeeding decades, the brand has grown to 400 restaurants throughout the UK, offering quality pizza, pasta and salad dishes at mainstream prices and within stylish restaurant settings.

The brand holds an enduring popularity with consumers and has strong B2C gifting credentials. In order to capitalise on that popularity, PizzaExpress launched PizzaExpress for Business to the corporate market in October 2011.

PizzaExpress for Business now supplies gift cards and electronic rewards to corporate users across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Ready for use in sales incentives, customer loyalty, employee reward, and flexible/voluntary benefits, the PizzaExpress for Business product portfolio also includes pre-denominated gift cards, reloadable gift cards, e-vouchers via mobile and digital delivery, and bespoke promotions.

Richard Mills, product manager B2B and gift cards, joined the PizzaExpress for Business team in February last year as its dedicated resource for corporate sales and gift cards. He works alongside Jordan Media, who help to develop the brand’s strategic sales developments, expose its gifting portfolio to large-scale rewards and employee benefits programmes and fulfil its gift card orders.

Mills says: “The market reaction since our inception has been good, particularly as we decided against a ‘hard launch’. We’ve consistently seen double-digit sales growth month on month and we’ve been able to bring new products to market in a relatively short space of time. We’ve also had the opportunity to look at bespoke support programmes that specifically help SMEs and the smaller businesses that agencies don’t often tend to support.”

Recently, PizzaExpress for Business has also launched its e-gift platform, a move the team views as a major milestone in its short history. The platform generates unique e-gift codes that are delivered direct to the recipient via a mobile phone or email and are ready to redeem in any of its restaurants.

“Getting the platform up and running was a great win for us,” says Mills. “It’s a superior solution because it’s flexible, fast and reliable and it means that the digital gift card can be in the recipient’s inbox within seconds of it being ordered.

“In this market, there are a lot of decisions to be made around gift card technology and innovations are moving so fast that sometimes plastic solutions seem outmoded. Integrating solutions with point-of-sale systems can sometimes slow brands down prior to launching those solutions, but we’re lucky that our systems haven’t posed too much of a challenge.”

No strangers to innovation, PizzaExpress for Business is always looking at new product development and growing its existing gifting portfolio.

As Mills explains: “Our recent thinking has been around how we can add value to the traditional gift card and part of this thought process has focused on self-use cards. There is a real opportunity to encourage people to keep a card in their wallet that they can reload for their own personal use. Hence our complimentary dough balls card.”

This £20 gift card entitles the holder to a complimentary serving of dough balls. The special edition card was launched prior to Christmas and is available for a limited period, although there may be plans underway to make it a permanent feature of the PizzaExpress for Business portfolio. 

Also new to PizzaExpress is its experience cards, which have been developed using the brand’s wealth of customer insight. Delivered in the form of a gift card, the experience reward entitles the recipient to a particular meal – for example, a two-course meal for one or two people, two main courses, or one main and one piccolo meal. It’s a solution for both team and individual rewards and tackles the situation where companies would prefer to mask the value of the reward and focus more on the experience they are giving. 

The key to PizzaExpress for Business’ success is finding new and appealing ways to package meals and offers into incentives and rewards, particularly ones that make dining out an option for those who have had to tighten their belts over the last few years.

Mills continues: “Yes, we’ve seen that people have less disposable income than they used to but that doesn’t mean they won’t occasionally treat their loved ones to a meal out and, when they do, they may favour a casual dining experience that they know they can trust to deliver.

“The PizzaExpress product is well defined. We’re reliable and have a nationwide reach that means we can offer consistency, great products and style, without costing customers the earth. That gives us consumer appeal and that, in turn, means we have a broad base of corporate clients, who value our offering and are confident that the gift cards and codes they give out to their staff will be redeemed.”

What does the future hold for PizzaExpress for Business? In the short to medium term, the team will be looking to explore further opportunities with the e-gift platform and look for a new range of flexible solutions that work for its clients.

“Staying at the forefront of gifting technology will be important for us and we want to push ahead with innovations, but I’m also keen to consolidate our offering and drive awareness of the business through the work we do with SMEs and our bespoke client promotions,” concludes Mills.

Fast facts

  • PizzaExpress’ pre-loaded gift cards are available in denominations of £10 and £15
  • There is a reloadable gift card that can be loaded with any value between £5 and £500
  • Each of the brand’s e-gift codes can also be loaded with any value between £5 and £500
  • Corporate discounts on orders can be made as follows:
    – £1,000 – £4,999 2.5%
    – £5,000 – £24,999 5%
    – £25,000 – £49,999 7.5%
    – £50,000+ Contact a member of the PizzaExpress for Business team.


Find out more by visiting or call the team on 0845 130 2715.

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