Fast food operation Fresh Italy has opened its first store in a shopping mall, taking a unit in the food court at Lakeside, Thurrock.
Early indications are that the unit is generating sales on a par with the retailer's pilot store on London's Ludgate Hill, although it is trading from only a third of the space.
Fresh Italy managing director Tom Allchurch, who stepped down as European marketing director of Amazon.com to launch the brand, said a redesign of the kitchen area had allowed Fresh Italy to trade successfully from smaller sites. As a result, he is raising his expansion target for the business.
Allchurch said he had been approached by shopping centre landlords across the country that are looking for different food court offers in terms of quality and product.
King Sturge is Fresh Italy's property advisor.