Although Three Joes primary objective at present is to get its newly acquired pizza chain back to trading, CEO Tim Hall isn’t ruling anything out when it comes to managing the new brand.

Earlier this week, in some much-needed positive industry news, Hall’s three-strong pizza business Three Joes announced it had acquired Fullers pizza and cider concept The Stable, adding a further 13 restaurants to its estate.

Whilst, like the rest of the industry, the company’s priority is to get the sites trading as soon as possible, “over time, everything is an option” for Three Joes as it looks to take over the new brand, Hall has told MCA.

“We haven’t decided yet whether we’ll rebrand,” he said. “We need to get our feet under the desk first.”

“We’re taking on a business that’s nearly three times larger than ours so it’s not like we can absorb it into our estate. In fact, it could be the other way around, and our estate could be absorbed into this larger entity.”

Currently, Three Joes operates restaurants in Winchester, Fareham and Sheffield, so the acquisition’s geographical expansion – The Stable has sites in Bath, Exeter and Newquay – will be “a big stretch.”

“But it’s a geographical stretch that we’ve always targeted for Three Joes,” Hall explained.

Over the past few months the brand’s co-founders – which includes Hall, former Byron operations manager Peter Bruton and former Pizza Express and Pret menu development specialist Emma Blackmore – had been “talking a lot about operating in coastal and seaside locations in the UK,” he said.

“At that time, it had been about the fact that summers are getting warmer, but now that’s been accelerated by the fact that people are probably less likely to be travelling abroad for holidays over the next couple of years.”

And having approached Fuller’s CEO Simon Emeny directly about the deal, Hall remains confident that despite its comparatively small estate, Three Joes is the perfect fit to navigate The Stable through the uncertain times ahead.

“We’re an existing pizza operator run by three industry specialists,” he said. “We’re not a purely financial private equity type of business. We’re operators and we’re very passionate about what we do.”

“Fullers have acted with tremendous integrity and the handover is already happening.”

“They were really keen that the business would go to someone who understood how to operate it and someone who would look after their teams and their staff, and we ticked all of those boxes.”

The deal was privately funded by Three Joes shareholders for an undisclosed sum.

Also listed as a director of the business is Simon Champ, a partner at investment manager Newstead Capital, an advisor of Lunar Pub Company and a founder and exectuive chairan of food start-up Pots & Co.