MOD Pizza to make UK debut

MOD Pizza, the fast casual artisan pizza restaurant operator led by Seattle Coffee Company founder Scott Svenson, has signed an agreement with Sir Charles Dunstone, the backer of Five Guys in the UK, to make its debut in the UK.

MOD, which has grown to 69 sites in the US since its launch in 2008, has signed a joint venture with Dunstone’s Freston Venture vehicle according to BigHospitality’s sister publication M&C Allegra Foodservice.

Freston has already backed the rapid rollout of Five Guys to over 30 sites in the UK in just over two years. Svenson told The Times that MOD’s (Made On Demand) first UK site would be ‘somewhere in the southeast’ and will open in the first half of next year followed by ‘a rapid national roll­out’.

The group is close to naming a UK chief executive. MOD is on track to post full­year turnover of c$60m and to operate 100 sites in the US by the end of this year. It is understood that the company, which closed a $40m funding round led by PWP Growth Equity, a private equity fund managed by Perella Weinberg Partners earlier this year, is being advised in its move into the UK market by Russell Chambers, the millionaire Credit Suisse adviser once dubbed ‘Tony Blair’s favourite banker’.

Svenson and his wife Ally co-­founded Seattle Coffee Company in the UK in 1994. It grew to 75 sites before being sold to Starbucks in 1998. They were also founding shareholders of Carluccio’s.