PizzaExpress - a Family Friendly company
PizzaExpress is committed to the ideals of the Family Friendly programme and taking Mumsnetters' opinions seriously when it comes to the future of their business.
The company has asked for your thoughts on what you're looking for in a restaurant and has put some of these into practice in its service charter. It's also trying out lots of family-friendly ideas in its New Generation restaurant in Richmond, London, such as its Play Dough day.
Successful new policies will be rolled out across the rest of its restaurants. PizzaExpress restaurants aim to provide an environment where adults and children can eat out together and no one has to compromise.
PizzaExpress has a commitment to support its team members both throughout their pregnancy and once they've got young children. It has a specific Family Leave booklet to make policies clear and offer advice on what to do, including details on how and when to arrange maternity leave. Support is offered for all groups of people with dependents, whether a member of staff is pregnant, a soon-to-be father, is officially adopting or a main carer. It offers maternity leave and pay, flexible working and childcare vouchers and has a PizzaExpress Maternity Return to Work Plan to help new parents ease themselves back into working life. For those who meet the qualifying conditions, it offers flexible working hours and times and options on where to work. There is also an option to work from home for those who qualify.
PizzaExpress treats children like 'little adults', from the menu choice through to how the staff interact with young customers. It offers a Piccolo menu, which is created with just as much care as the grown-up version. The menu gives children the choice of three courses – just like the adults. Children can enjoy its signature doughballs to start, a choice of pizza or pasta and a mini ice-cream sundae to finish. The main course is accompanied with a free side salad and every Piccolo meal is finished off with a free Bambinoccino – a little cappuccino, without the coffee – warm frothy milk dusted with chocolate.
Every little adult dining at PizzaExpress gets a special Piccolo pack – a series of activities that entertain and engage children in eating out, encouraging interaction with others at the table, including the waiters. PizzaExpress Piccolo packs are designed to offer support for people with children in the restaurant as a mechanism to keep them sitting at the table and interacting with those around them.
Mums are welcome to breastfeed in PizzaExpress and there are baby changing facilities in most of the women's toilets across its restaurants. It knows that trying to manoeuvre a buggy in a small space can be a nightmare, so lots of PizzaExpress restaurants have enough space to get your pushchair in, out and parked somewhere sensible while eating.
At the New Generation PizzaExpress restaurant in Richmond, London, the PizzaExpress teams have been trained with the support of films featuring Carrie Longton, to show staff what it's like being in a mum's shoes. They're committed to delivering the service you want when you walk through a restaurant door, from someone helping to get the buggy through the door to bringing the kids' food first.
All marketing activity is carefully considered with the family customer in mind. For example, last year PizzaExpress asked its customers, "Does your Dad rock?", encouraging them to send infavourite photos of their dad to celebrate Father's Day.