Takeaway pizza concept Fireaway has launched its 50th site today, with a further 50 new sites to open over the next year.

Though franchising “wasn’t the plan” initially, following the opening of its first site in 2016, a franchise-heavy roll-out has allowed the business to expand at pace, and will comprise its growth strategy going forward, founder Mario Aleppo has told MCA.

Fireaway opened eight stores during the pandemic, including its latest today in Manchester, and is set to open in Cumbernauld, Dartford, Tunbridge Wells, Northampton, Shrewsbury, and Coventry over the next six weeks.

“They’re all ready to go they’re just waiting to open,” Aleppo said. “We have another ten that are under construction, and the rest are secured locations, but the shops haven’t been found yet.”

Targeting a mix of high-street and residential locations, all but one of the upcoming openings will be via franchise partners, and will offer the brand’s ‘designer pizza’ menu for takeaway and delivery via the Fireaway website as well as on Just Eat, Deliveroo and Just Eat.

Based on “Subway-style” service, consumers can build their own pizzas from a choice of 25 different toppings for £10.99, with pizzas moving from prep to plate in just 180 seconds.

“We operate a fast, create your own for one price model,” said Aleppo. “It’s worked well, especially at the moment with consumers being slightly more careful with how they spend their money.

“We also aim to offer a fresher, healthier pizza compared to our competitors in takeaway. Most of the products come from Italy, and we work with an Italian recipe. We keep it as authentic as possible.”