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IRELAND’S largest pizza chain Apache confirmed that it is creating 400 jobs in the north by opening 20 new pizzerias over the next year.

Fuelled by a 32 per cent increase in sales during lockdown, the Dublin-headquartered business says the new stores will be opened by new and existing franchisees, and Apache is actively seeking entrepreneurs to become new franchisees.

Locations it has identified for now include Carryduff, Moira, Dundonald, Strangford, Saintfield, Hillsborough, Comber, Crumlin, Whitehead, Dunmurry, Ormeau Road, Carnlough, Newtownabbey and Portstewart.

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Apache, which currently operates 19 stores in Northern Ireland, says the 400 new jobs include permanent, full-time and part-time positions for general managers, supervisors, team members and delivery drivers.

The chain was founded in Dublin in 1996 before expanding into Northern Ireland in 2016, and it currently operates 181 stores and employs 2,750 people across the island of Ireland.

“Our rapid expansion plan for Northern Ireland provides people with an immediate opportunity to secure local employment and to develop their careers locally,” Apache Pizza chief executive Martin Lyons said.

“We also have fantastic opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to run their own business and join us in being part of Ireland’s most recognisable and popular pizza chain.”

He added: “We’re delighted to expand our presence in Northern Ireland and to create these job and franchise opportunities.

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“Being local is what is driving our growth and rapid expansion plan, and our plan is to open a number of new stores every month.”

Apache Pizza has already commenced a recruitment drive and says it is seeking vibrant, self-motivated people with consumer-focused experience for all positions.

Those interested in becoming franchisees, who do not require previous business management experience, can also apply online at www.apachepizza.co.uk/franchise-opportunities.

Apache Pizza was founded by Robert Pendleton and his wife Emily Gore Grimes, who no longer manage the business.

It is now owned by Food Delivery Brands, the largest and most geographically diversified pizza delivery master franchiser in the world by store numbers and by OKR Group, Ireland’s leading QSR franchise operator.

By Gary McDonald

Source: The Irish News

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