Johnny Di Francesco, founder of 400 Gradi, today announced details of an international expansion plan for the restaurant group, which will result in a brand presence in five countries before the end of the year.
After successfully launching his first international venue in Bahrain late last year, the second Middle Eastern 400 Gradi will open in Kuwait in late March, marking the first stage of an extensive plan to roll out numerous restaurants across the region. To execute the ambitious expansion, 400 Gradi has partnered with multinational retail franchise operator M.H. Alshaya Co., responsible for franchising more than 75 of the world’s best-known retail brands including H&M, Victoria’s Secret, iHOP and Shake Shack.
Closer to home and slated for mid-year, the first Australian 400 Gradi outside of Melbourne will open in Adelaide before Johnny again heads across international waters with venues also scheduled to open in Auckland and the USA (Texas) before 2018 comes to a close. Throw into the mix the floating 400 Gradi operating on P&O’s Pacific Explorer, which also launched late last year, and the world is literally Johnny’s oyster (pizza).
The global expansion of 400 Gradi marks the next exciting chapter for the Melbourne-born restauranteur. The first Australian ever trained in Naples under the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (the association for authentic Neapolitan pizza), Johnny opened the first 400 Gradi in 2008, before putting the restaurant on the map in 2014 when he was awarded ‘world’s best pizza maker’ at the World Pizza Championships.