Profile: Jeremy Gilley

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Pizza Express training staff to flirt with customers

Pizza Express is teaching staff how to ’flirt’ in order to improve relationships with customers.

Theatre director and business trainer Karl James is providing the workshops with employees as part of the Pizza Express ’Living Lab’ concept restaurant in Richmond.

The idea is to create a restaurant space where the company can experiment with everything from “design and acoustics to service and food.”

According to a video the project website, Karl is hoping to help Pizza Express staff will have more ’flair’ and be able to have conversations with their customers and embody “the living breathing bit of a restaurant.”

Along with Pizza Express’s marketing department, a team of artists, designers, musicians, entrepreneurs, chefs and design consultancy GTF, led by designer Ab Rogers, will help the company form new ideas for the business and its outlets.

James adds the project is looking at how Pizza Express allows customers to have better ’conversations’ with the brand, its staff and each other through use of audio and restaurant interior design.

Emma Woods Pizza Express’ marketing director says: “We want to stimulate conversations by the way we serve and entertain customers with music and taking away noise. We want the people of Richmond to go in and go ’Wow’.”

The restaurant chain will unveil its ideas at the Living Lab on the 21 October.

Readers' comments (4)

  • Wait, where is the flirting?

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  • heard some guy from their training agency on the radio today talking about this. After nearly 20 years in marketing it was the biggest load of bs I've ever heard, trouped out by the most unconvincing spokesman I've ever heard. All sorts of nonsense like training staff to listen with their eyes. Besides, who says I want a richer conversation with my waitress? This really felt like emperor's new clothes, and Pizza Express have gone down in my estimation, if this is what they spend good money on.

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  • People should be train to themselves and to be proud of their brand but not to be artificial.

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  • i think it is a good initiative, when i'm asking about differences between menu items, i want to be given details instead of being said "on has cheese on top"

    and i would like waiters to make eye contact as well as listening carefully to me as not to return in 10 minutes to ask me to repeat the order, or even worse, insisting i ordered something i didn't..


    i dunno.. just saying :))

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