Property News - Fresh Italy seeks stores for healthy fast food push

London has seen the launch of a fast-food operation that aims to provide a healthier alternative to the existing burger, fried chicken and pizza brands.

Fresh Italy specialises in pasta, risotto and salads, and the pilot store on Ludgate Hill in the City is already trading well ahead of expectations.

The company's success has given founder and managing director Tom Allchurch confidence to press ahead with a wider roll-out.

Allchurch stepped down as European marketing director of to launch Fresh Italy, and won venture backing from a prominent property developer.

Fresh Italy has retained King Sturge to handle the expansion programme, with an immediate requirement for two more stores this year, to be followed by another six next year.

These will all be in London to consolidate the business before it considers a national roll-out.

In the longer term, Allchurch believes the format could succeed in a range of different locations. 'Further ahead, we will consider roadside sites, transport nodes and food courts in shopping centres,' he said. 'It's a very flexible system.'

King Sturge associate Paul Faulkner said the standard store requirement is for 1,000 sq ft to 1,500 sq ft (95 sq m to 140 sq m) in areas with strong concentrations of office workers, to support the brand's core lunchtime trade.