The brand new waterfront development at Brighton Marina has become THE place to eat with the opening of MOD Pizza, the second UK restaurant from America’s fastest growing restaurant chain – based in Seattle, Washington.
Offering something completely unique to the Brighton food scene, MOD’s pizzas are Made On Demand to your individual specifications using fresh-pressed dough and several signature sauces. Patrons can then mix and match any combination of over 30 toppings to create a totally individual pizza or, instead of making their own creation, they can choose from a menu of MOD classics including the wonderfully named Mad Dog or Lucy Sunshine, with all pizzas then hand-cooked in less than five minutes.
Not simply a must-visit destination for great tasting pizza and salads, another crucial aspect of the MOD success story lies in the ideals that created the business. MOD is committed to creating a positive social impact in the communities it serves by not only creating a cool place to eat, but an inspired place to work. MOD’s main ingredient for success is its employees, known as the MOD Squad, who are encouraged to support their fellow employees and be active in the community, something which is core to the business as a whole.
At the launch in Brighton Marina I spoke to Chris Schultz, Vice President of operations for MOD in America and he told me…
“At MOD the focus has always been on our people, our MOD Squad. The reality of things is that, if we focus on our team and make sure that they are well taken care of, they will take care of our customers. We spend very little time talking about customer service and instead we talk about our MOD Squaders. About respect, dignity, gratitude and about working for an organisation that really cares about them as people.
We believe that, in today’s world, folks are looking to be part of a team and part of a company that believes in something bigger than who they are, and that connection really comes through when you see our team at work – and see their connection to the customers.
It’s very noticeable, inside the restaurant, that the customer service is not what we have come to accept in the UK, and Chris explained,
“I think that, in the UK, walls are finally breaking down around customer service and the connection that people have with their companies and their customers, even more so than we have ever seen in the past. I think that we will continue to move on from that and, in 10 years time, their won’t be that divide, if you will, between customer service in the UK and customer service in the US it’s going to be one and the same. It has to be.”
UK CEO of MOD Pizza, John Nelson, went on to speak about the fun, family, feel to their new eatery…
“I have three boys, aged 4, 6 and 12 and they are the ones who make the decisions about where I am most likely to eat of an evening – and you show me a kid who doesn’t like pizza! They take me by the hand and they lead me here to MOD, not because Daddy works for them, but because they love the vibe, they love the experience and they want to have fun. They get to stick stickers on the walls, they can have what they like on their pizzas, everybody “high 5’s” them and they have a really good time.”
Chris added, “I believe that that is the culture that is going to be moving forward. When these kids become 18 that is what they are going to know, that is what they are going to expect. The days of old when we tell you what you should eat and how you should eat it are gone. We all have freedom of choice today.
The other thing that we are doing is bringing pride back to being of service. For so many years, working in the restaurant business was looked down upon but in days of old being of service was a noble thing. People aspired to be of service but, somewhere, that got lost. When you come into our restaurants you will see that there are no name tags, there is no hierarchy in the shirts that the team wear. Everyone is part of a team and they are proud to be a part of it.
The final thing that I want to share with you is this – pizza should be fun. Why should it be so stoic an so dull. It’s pizza and salads and shakes and beer and wine – let’s have some fun with it! In most restaurants you are a number, you’re number 22 or number 17 but here we take your name and we make a pizza for you. My mother didn’t name me 22 or 17, she named me Chris and here the team are making a pizza for Chris and, whatever I choose, I know it’s only going to cost me £7.47.
MOD Pizza is open Sunday to Thursday from 11am to 10.30pm and on Friday and Saturday from 11am to 11pm at 1 The Boardwalk, Brighton Marina, BN2 5ZB and provides a perfect addition to a day out by the sea, or a night of movies or bowling at the all new Brighton Marina. For more information, please visit www.modpizza.co.uk