New Dough & Co pizzeria opens in Bury St Edmunds
- Credit: Chris Sharman
A new pizzeria in Bury St Edmunds is doing a roaring trade despite having no sit-in customers - and is still recruiting staff.
Dough & Co opened at the former Patisserie Valerie café in Abbeygate Street on Wednesday, January 13, with a 'soft launch' so as to be able to cope with demand.
This is young entrepreneur Chris Sharman's fourth restaurant he has opened during the coronavirus pandemic, including Burger Amours in Bury St Edmunds and Bishop's Stortford and Dough & Co in Halstead.
Mr Sharman's business has actually taken on about 110 staff during the pandemic - just under half its total staff of about 235 people.
The 28-year-old, from Bury St Edmunds, said: "We have grown a lot throughout the pandemic. I always planned on doing it. I just pushed on anyway.
"To be honest, the pandemic has also given us opportunities to negotiate harder than ever before."
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He added: "Dough & Co remains profitable in every site. For me, it's just a testament to our customer service and our product and how much we care."
Dough & Co also had a strong focus on deliveries, which has placed them in a much better position than some other hospitality businesses during the pandemic.
The new pizzeria in Bury St Edmunds offers delivery and collection through the Dough & Co website - which features real-time tracking - but it is also on platforms like Deliveroo.
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Since opening on Wednesday it already doing better than expected, Mr Sharman said.
"We expect that Saturday, January 16, and next weekend again we will probably have to stop orders part-way through the night - we did this in Halstead. It was too busy, we just couldn't cope."
He said the popularity of ordering food in during lockdown, as people are stuck at home, was one of the reasons they are so busy.
There are about 31 staff already at Dough & Co in Bury St Edmunds, and Mr Sharman expects this to rise to about 50, with roles including head chef, sous-chef and pizzaiolo.