All ASK Italian articles

  • pyramid-hesburger
    Longreads

    ​How technology is revolutionising the post-pandemic restaurant sector

    2021-02-02T08:37:00Z

    At the end of 2019, if a customer wanted to order and pay for their food using their mobile phone the number of restaurants in which they could do this would have been relatively small. Fast forward to this year and, once lockdown is lifted, the number of places offering digital order and pay will be significantly bigger.

  • Investor of the Year Header Graphic BDO
  • GettyImages-1257009751
    Analysis & Insight

    AlixPartners: Gradually building momentum

    2020-08-14T07:38:00Z

    Just over a month since restart, it is obvious that the sector’s revival will take time, and sadly it will not include everyone. 

  • rooney anand
    News

    Anand steps down from CDG

    2020-07-29T15:41:00Z

    Rooney Anand has stepped down from his role as non-executive chairman of Casual Dining Group.

  • Zizzi interior
    News

    How Azzurri Group went into administration

    2020-07-23T07:48:00Z

    One of the star performers in a competitive casual dining sector, and an even more competitive Italian subsector, Azzurri Group was formed out of the break-up of Gondola.

  • ASK Italian
    News

    Azzurri latest to announce closures after rescue deal

    2020-07-19T10:30:00Z

    The Azzurri Group has been acquired by TowerBrook Capital Partners via a pre-pack administration process, but 75 sites will close. Azzurri, which is made up of 301 restaurants including Zizzi, Ask and Coco di Mama, said when the coronavirus hit it acted “swiftly to protect its employees and customers, deciding to close all restaurants ahead of the government’s lockdown. Azzurri took all possible steps to protect the financial position of the business by ceasing all capex, renegotiating rental payments and food supplier costs and furloughing all restaurant staff and non-critical central staff.”

  • ASK Italian
    News

    ​Azzurri in advanced talks over pre-pack sale

    2020-07-17T07:19:00Z

    Azzurri Group could be on the verge of a pre-pack administration which would involve the closure of 20-25 restaurants, The Times reports.

  • Cafe Rouge exterior
    News

    Epiris frontrunner to buy CDG

    2020-07-13T07:24:00Z

    The former backer of TGI Friday’s is in advanced talks to buy Casual Dining Group, Sky News reports.

  • ASK Italian
    News

    Azzurri sounds out sale

    2020-06-05T07:22:00Z

    Ask Italian and Zizzi operator Azzurri Group is exploring a sale of the company, Sky News reports.

  • Zizzi interior
    Interviews

    Azzurri CEO Steve Holmes: Things are changing all the time

    2020-05-22T07:19:00Z

    Do you remember what is was like to go to a restaurant and order a plate of spaghetti? I miss it hugely, and I’m just a hungry customer. So how does Azzurri CEO Steve Holmes, who runs 295 restaurants, feel about seeing his entire estate shut down? “It’s desperately sad, because we’ve made really strong progress over the last four years,” he says. “Zizzi’s NPS score moved up to number six, the highest ever. Ask was also racing up. We opened an Ask in Westfield just before everything closed and it was trading incredibly well.”

  • closed shop sign
    News

    Debt enforcement moratorium still needed - MCA poll

    2020-05-18T07:03:00Z

    More than half of operators, (54%) said that their landlord had refused to offer any concessions, with an additional 34% saying that negotiations were ongoing, according to the latest weekly Hospitality Leaders Poll by MCA Insight/HIM. The results highlight further the need for a debt enforcement moratorium, one of the key pillars of Hospitality Union’s original six-point action plan, to give both commercial tenants and landlords breathing space against litigation.

  • GBK interior
    News

    GBK and Azzurri reportedly appoint advisors

    2020-04-23T07:47:00Z

    Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Azzurri Group have reportedly appointed advisors to assess their options going forward through the coronavirus crisis.

  • GettyImages-510629908
    Analysis & Insight

    ​Steve Gotham: Turning up the heat and other NPD delights

    2020-03-05T07:28:00Z

    New product development (NPD) is rightly recognised as a lifeblood for the eating out industry, and MCA’s Menu Tracker offers insights into the latest menu trends and influences across 150 leading operators. This review only serve as a taster, but the three courses have each been accompanied with three key summary insights.    

  • Terry Harrison @ Busaba
    Longreads

    Bangkok bounce back?

    2020-02-12T07:55:00Z

    Once the darling of the Thai restaurant scene, Busaba has had a tough few years, with falling profits and site closures. Now with a simplified offer and a fresh focus on the capital, it’s looking to bounce back

  • Ask
    News

    Ask fined £40,000 for lack of lobster

    2020-01-15T15:11:00Z

    Ask has been fined £40,000 after selling a ‘misleading’ plate of pasta - although it got a discount off the bill for pleading guilty. The Italian chain, owned by parent company Azzurri, had been selling its £14.95 Aragosta e Gamberoni dish, described as lobster and king prawns in a tomato and chilli sauce, since 2014.

  • Nandos restaurant
    Analysis & Insight

    And the 2019 consumer award winners are…

    2020-01-08T08:31:00Z

    While we are in the midst of the entertainment awards season it would be most neglectful not to extend this to the worlds of foodservice and hospitality. 

  • PizzaExpress Langham Place, Oxford Circus 03
    News

    The Highs and Lows of Promotions

    2019-12-09T08:40:00Z

    In recent weeks I have looked into various elements of economising behaviour by consumers, including targeting low prices and more spending at weekends as opposed to weekdays, today’s focus is on the widely prevalent, yet potentially damaging, practice of promotional activity. Key questions asked include whether its usage is rising, who’s buying into the offers the most and what are the most popular promotion types. The core focus area is the key dinner day-part within the chain restaurant sector and the source of answers is MCA’s consumer tracking service, the Eating Out Panel.

  • Jo Fleet
    News

    Jo Fleet named ‘unsung hero’

    2019-12-05T08:21:00Z

    Flat Iron, Wagamama, Caravan and Lina Stores were among winners at Restaurant magazine’s R200 Awards held in London last night (4 December).

  • JDW 2012 New Opening Watchmaker Bar
    News

    Low price champions

    2019-11-25T08:22:00Z

    Given the prevailing weak outlook for consumer confidence, it seems inevitable that more risk averse and belt-tightening behaviours will come to the fore. 

  • Steve Holmes, CEO Azzurri Group
    Opinion

    Steve Holmes: ‘If you wind the clock forward, people will eat out more than ever’

    2019-11-19T08:49:00Z

    Relevant operators can grind out profit growth, but it’s not an easy time, Azzurri Group’s Steve Holmes has told MCA.