Azzurri Group is targeting regional cities and travel hubs to grow the Coco di Mama brand, CEO Steve Holmes tells MCA.

The group is also looking to grow the Ask Italian and Zizzi brands in towns and cities “where we are not currently represented,” according to Holmes.

“We will continue to grow all three of our core brands next year,” he says. “Given the amount of inflation we have seen, it has been necessary to increase prices a modest amount, but we remain committed to delivering exceptional value.”

Last week, the operator posted full-year revenues of £235.9m in 2022, an increase of £119m on last year, and an EBITDA increase of £19.6m to £25m. Post-pandemic recovery was largely driven by an omnichannel approach.

“Delivery has recently been, and still is, a significant part of our business compared to pre-covid,” Holmes adds. “We have invested heavily in this area with upgraded packaging and bespoke menu product development.

“We have definitely seen a drop off in delivery volume but then a reciprocal ongoing volume recovery in visit to restaurants. We are trading nicely up on last year as a result.”

Azzurri has also expanded its retail range. Menu innovation and evolution of the proposition are the key priorities going into next year.

“As we do all of our menu development and purchasing in house, it gives us the ability innovate around products and recipes to create cost effective dishes that still deliver great value and quality.”