Three-time pizza champs lead the delivery race


La Favorita owner Tony Crolla

 By Michael MacLeod

BRITAIN’S best pizza makers are champions for the third year in a row – and this time the award has double toppings.

The Italians at Edinburgh’s La Favorita scooped the title of the UK’s best pizza restaurant AND best delivery service.

The Dominos and Pizza Hut-beating gongs are all the more remarkable because the owners only began delivering pizzas this year.

Bosses at the Leith Walk restaurant spent thousands of pounds on launching its delivery service this year.

They invested in a fleet of five red Minis branded with the La Favorita logo, as well as customer ordering software and top-of-the-range pizza bags to keep meals at an optimum temperature.

Winning the 19th Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association PAPA awards was a pizza cake for proud owner Tony Crolla.

He said: “We are only as good as our last meal, but winning awards helps staff and guests to feel reassured they are at one of the best pizza restaurants in the UK.

“We never rest on our laurels and are always thinking of new ways to develop our establishments.

“The PAPA Awards are the most sought-after accolades in the Italian industry in the UK so to win the Pizza Restaurant category almost every year since we opened is a great testament to the staff, work and service at La Favorita.”

The top prize at a lavish ceremony in London’s Royal Lancaster hotel celebrates “the best and most genuine” Italian restaurants in the country.

The capital-based restaurant beat off competition from Heavenly Pizzas in Aberdeen, as well as Dublin takeaway Bistro Bianconi and Lupa and Basilico, two of London’s leading operators.

Tony, who also owns Vittoria on Leith Walk and George IV Bridge, added: “We wanted to create something slick and professional so people could enjoy the high-quality La Favorita product in their own homes.

“I am delighted this has also proven to be a success and winning these PAPA awards is a fantastic end to the year for La Favorita.”

La Favorita’s sister restaurant Vittoria is also celebrating after being shortlisted for Italian Restaurant of the Year in the Scottish Restaurant Awards, with winners announced in January.

Sainsbury’s was voted as the nation’s frozen supermarket retailer of the year and Glasgow’s Bella Napoli took home the best Italian restaurant gong.

PAPA is the only formal trade body in the UK representing the pizza, pasta and Italian food and drink industry.

Jim Winship, PAPA director, said: “These awards are important to the industry as they recognise the work being done by restaurants, supermarkets and suppliers to keep pushing the boundaries through innovation and promotion.”