“Franco Manca is not cool anymore,” admits David Page. As chairman of the pizza chain’s parent company, Fulham Shore, it is surprisingly candid. 

Years ago, the pizza restaurants were a favourite haunt of South London hipsters. “There’s a cache that comes with being a small business with only a few stores,” he says. “But I’m afraid the people of Peterborough, Kingston and Canterbury wouldn’t buy into this idea that we need to keep it small. They’re pleased we’ve opened stores there. Because what we’re selling is just very nice pizza, even if the restaurant has stopped being cool.”

Page is speaking as Fulham Shore embarks on a major expansion - not just of the Franco Manca chain but also its The Real Greek restaurants - buoyed by stellar sales which have yet to show signs of the cost of living downturn. 

To read the full story, please click here.