Wellingborough’s Fireaway overcomes ‘teething problems’ to enjoy successful start to 2024

It’s the business’ fourth location in Northamptonshire
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Fireaway’s Wellingborough location has had a fast start to 2024 in the town centre, overcoming ‘teething problems’ early on.

The new restaurant in Pebble Lane opened its doors on December 12, and bosses insist that it has now found a firm place in Wellingborough.

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Amit Patel, franchise owner of Fireaway Wellingborough, said: "The launch day was amazing, we had a really good start.

Fireaway in Pebble Lane has had a fast start to 2024Fireaway in Pebble Lane has had a fast start to 2024
Fireaway in Pebble Lane has had a fast start to 2024

“We had over 300 people turn up for our opening launch, we had queues out the door, it was pretty mad.

“It’s a highly skilled job, and that’s the most important thing I’ve learned, that anyone who has worked in food has often found it quite tough because what we do requires skill, it takes time to learn.

“It’s effectively like an Italian kitchen, but we run a fast food place so you have to get people skilled and working fast.”

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Fireaway has made a home in Northamptonshire, with locations in Kettering, Northampton and Corby.

Fireaway opened its doors on December 12Fireaway opened its doors on December 12
Fireaway opened its doors on December 12

At the Wellingborough restaurant in Pebble Lane, 7 ‘multi-skilled’ members of staff undertake the majority of the front of house roles, as well as the responsibilities in the kitchen.

Store manager, Scott, joined in January and ‘really really helped stabilise the team and get us to a good place.’

While the launch saw plenty of hungry customers through the door, it took a while to truly settle into Wellingborough, as bosses admit the weeks that followed presented their fair share of problems.

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Amit said: “Like any business it was a bit hit and miss in that first month because we were inundated with trade and we were quite new, but right here, right now, we’ve got a majority of positive review experiences.

“Customer waiting time is generally 10 minutes now which is the optimum time we’d want for a product to go from order to people’s hands.

“It doesn’t matter where you are, if a customer is paying for a product and a service they expect that you get it right from day one.

“I absolutely recognise for those that haven’t had that, that’s been our teething problems that we’ve worked hard to get right and we’re in a good place now.

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“Customers shouldn’t be forgiving, and we’ve worked hard to act on feedback.”

The Fireaway business began in 2016 with a single shop in London, and over the years it has reached all corners of the UK with more than 150 locations and rising.

Hand-made pizzas are prepared and quickly cooked in a 400-degree fire oven, resulting in authentic Italian-style pizzas.

In Wellingborough, a handful of Fireaway’s own drivers work to get customers their food, in what has become the shop’s most reliable means of income.

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Amit added: "We’ve seen a steady increase of deliveries on an upward trend ever since, deliveries are effectively becoming our strongest channel for sales.

“Our second biggest is walk in and dine in, which is quite unusual for Fireaway as walk-ins are the lowest part of the trade, maybe because of our location or because the footfall is still so good.”

Amit credits the availability of free parking locally as a reason why walk-in custom is high, and its close proximity to local facilities also being a factor.