Emilia’s Crafted Pasta is looking to expand further in the heart of central London, CEO and founder Andrew Macleod tells MCA.

Off the back of the announcement that the fresh pasta concept will open its fourth site on Baker Street later this year, Macleod says with every restaurant opening the brand aims to build the business stronger.

The new restaurant will join existing sites in St. Katharine Docks, Aldgate and Canary Wharf, and marks part of the business’ strategy to expand in the heart of central London.

Although Macleod says Emilia’s does have a “wish list” of potential locations, ultimately it is driven by opportunity.

“We felt this one matched perfectly what we were looking for in terms of the demographic, the actual location and the deal”, he says.

However, with a growing market in London, expansion outside of the capital is becoming a consideration for the brand.

“Part of you wants to fight in that arena. And the other part thinks we should grow in London, but maybe not as aggressively as we planned a few years ago, but instead expand a bit outside.”

Most importantly, Macleod says the team spend a lot of time before opening a new site to make sure that it is “taking the brand to the next level.”

“It is personally very important to ensure that as we grow, we actually get better as opposed to a lot of brands where they grow and that dilutes the offering.


With the mantra that “if you’re not improving, you’re going backwards”, Macleod is keen to make sure growth doesn’t just mean producing carbon copies.

Currently self-funded, the CEO says that although it has been approached by several different partners, it has so far been hesitant to take on any outside investment.

“We have a view that once you’ve got to four, five, six sites, you do need to start to prepare for building a bigger business”.

He says bringing someone else on board isn’t on the table this year, but they are open to exploring various options in the coming years.

After seeing the category grow exponentially since Emilia’s was founded in 2016, Macleod feels it is a “really exciting” time for the brand.

“I got really frustrated going through university, visiting all the chains about 10-11 years ago and seeing pasta was always an afterthought on the menu.

“It brings me a bit of joy to see so many places now championing it”, he says.

Today, Macleod says he remains positive, with trade and consumer spending currently “very resilient.”

However, he says there is still a feeling that things are tightening.

“As you increase pricing, that makes it less accessible to more people, so we’re trying to do our best to keep it very affordable.”

But with an 100% natural ingredient ethos, “there are always going to be pressures.”

“But I think that’s why a lot of people have stuck with us. There’s that trust that we look at every single supplier, every single ingredient in every single recipe.”

Also crucial is the brand’s experiential focus. “All our sites have fully open kitchens so you can watch everything being made from start to finish.

“That’s a crucial part, they have to feel like they have an experience where they are cared for. People want to go out and not just have a robotic technological experience.