Susan and John Canavan, who owned the UK master franchise for San Diego pizza concept Project Pie, have resigned from the business, while the concept has closed one site and pulled out of another, MCA understands.

Working with former Hakkasan chief executive Niall Howard, the Canavans had hoped to open 60 Project Pie restaurants in the UK and Ireland by 2020.

But Howard left the business last year, and the Cannavans struggled to market the business to a UK audience, with consumers thinking it was a pie shop rather than a pizzeria.

Raman Kapur, listed as a director of UCP Carparks in Croydon, has taken on Project Pie UK holding company The Canavan Co (UK) Ltd after the resignation of John and Susan.

There is just one remaining Project Pie site in Dundee, with a site in intu Bromley closing, and another in Southampton’s WestQuay never opening.

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