Unordinary Thinking No. 11 – Pizza Express ‘new’ customer experience

When you take a look at the picture there are three elements which you should notice.

Whilst you can’t argue it’s a change table (element 1), you may argue that the new branding (element 2) of Pizza Express does not give it ownership over black and white lines. Whilst I agree, I do applaud their strength to not overhaul the ID in 2011, and opting for a ‘retouch’ instead. And then applying it throughout their livery (I’ve worked with bigger brands who live in a state of limbo between ID’s for years because they ignore the detail).

It is from Pizza Express’ Ocean Terminal restaurant in Leith, which is where I found myself one evening in December, having finished a workshop for a client, with some time for Christmas shopping. And as a father of a 5 and 1 year old I am pleased to see change tables in more and more Gents these days, reflecting the fact that us dads change plenty of nappies too.

But neither of these elements are what grabbed my attention. As a customer proposition and experience strategist, what impressed me was that someone has acknowledged the ‘change of nappy’ experience involves two people; parent (payer) and baby (guest).

By doing so they’ve been able to take a step back to see how both can have a better experience of dining at Pizza Express and simply added a mobile (element 3) above the change table. When you look at it from a parents perspective the mobile is a useful distraction for them, but look at it from the babies perspective it’s a new stimulating entertainment centre to amuse whilst being changed.

Pizza Express also provide crayons and mats for children at the table. They could be there as ‘things to keep the kids quiet, so the adults can talk and order’, but I believe Pizza Express think more deeply than that they will have thought, ‘it’s entertainment for children because we know they think it’s boring waiting for a routine event such as a meal’.

And by thinking like this Pizza Express demonstrates it recognises that everyone is a customer and has needs which should be catered for within their dining experience.

Commercially, the crayons and the mobile might encourage parents to choose Pizza Express over chains without such facilities. But what it really says to me is that Pizza Express has the capacity to step back and look at the wider vista before making changes, ensuring they are to the betterment of all their customers; whatever their age. From branding to baby changing.

Posted by Christopher Brooks

Lexden is a Customer Strategy Agency. We put customers at the start and the heart of the business strategy.

We work with brands to attract and retain happy customers. We achieve this by helping them to understand what makes their customers tick, building memorable customer experience strategies and creating engaging customer value propositions.

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2 thoughts on “Unordinary Thinking No. 11 – Pizza Express ‘new’ customer experience

  1. Roger

    Like the feature, you could go on to say that at a time when restaurant chains are fighting for customers, it is attention to these practical / helpful propositional features which will persuade customers to choose them again. The value of building loyal customers is ever more critical today..


  2. lexdengroup Post author


    You make an excellent point. We are observing too many brands getting the big idea piece out there, but not spending time ensuring the ‘back story’ supports the promise the big idea creates. As you say when fighting for customers, these details are critical in sub-consciously creating preference in the customer’s mind.

    Christopher, Lexden


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