Gourmet pizza chain growing in Jo’burgAugust 30th, 2011 by H&R | Categories: food, industry, restaurants
After recently opening its third branch in Johannesburg, owners of the Casalottis chain of gourmet pizzerias have a lot planned for their brand. Established in Craighall almost 20 years ago, Casalottis was always an institution amongst locals, says Krystyna Blonski.
Blonski is one of the four co-owners who took over the brand some two years ago to breathe new life into the pizzeria. Since buying the eatery, two more Casalottis branches have been opened: one in Parkmore just over a year ago and another in River Club about two months ago.
Blonski says that the fast food market hasn’t been as badly affected in the economic downturn as other restaurants seem to have been: “People still want to treat themselves, even if that means getting a special meal to eat at home with their family.”
There are plans to open a further two Casalottis branches in the coming months, both in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg.
The pizzeria’s menu has also been overhauled. “We took some pizzas off the menu that just didn’t seem to be working and added a few more using lots of fresh ingredients, something our customers were asking for,” Blonski explains.
There are no plans to turn the successful chain into sit-down establishments, she notes: “We work on a take-away model. We like to close at earlier hours than restaurants and we don’t want to compete with other gourmet restaurants in the area.”
The brand has also recently started a social media campaign that has been quite successful, according to Blonski, who notes that surrounding community members and loyal customers welcomed the brand online.