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|Azzurri Restaurants Ltd|
Number of locations
The chain, founded by brothers Adam Kaye and Samuel Kaye in 1993, and floated on AIM in 1995, was the subject of a public-to-private deal in 2004, after which it was merged with Pizza Express  to form Gondola Holdings, which was later part of the Gondola Group, and was acquired along with Zizzi for £250 million by Bridgepoint Capital in February 2015.
The name can be construed either as the founders' initials or as an acronym for "Authentic Sicilian Kitchen". ASK was the chain's original name, it was rebranded as ASK Italian from 2010.
In 2010, Theo Randall started working with ASK Italian restaurants as their 'expert friend', developing menus and coming up with new dishes. In June 2015, he became an investor in the Azzurri Group, which owns and runs the restaurant chain.
Kiss It Better Campaign ASK Italian partnered with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity in 2008 to donate £1 for every kids menu sold during the campaign, and by asking customers to add a £1 donation onto their bill. This raised £73,000 in four weeks. The chain went on to raise a further £200,000 for the charity in the following two years, including through celebrity cook book sales, a digital charity box and donations from a range of dishes.
In November 2015 the chain was one of seven restaurants surveyed that failed to meet a basic level of sustainability in its seafood.
In November 2019, Azzuri Restaurants admitted in court that a dish described as "lobster and king prawns" contained only 35% lobster, and had white fish and other ingredients mixed in and formed to appear as lobster meat. The dish was sold between 2014 and March 2019.
On 20 March 2020, all restaurants in the UK were closed indefinitely due to new rules regarding the national lockdown initiated by the government to reduce the spread of COVID-19. On 17 July 2020, Azzurri Group, owner of the Zizzi and ASK Italian chains, announced the closure of 75 restaurants with the loss of up to 1,200 jobs.
- The ASK Italian Cookbook (2012)
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- Smithers, Rebecca (18 November 2015). "More than half of UK's family restaurant chains serving unsustainable seafood". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
- "ASK restaurant fined over 'misleading' lobster". 2020-01-14. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
- Holmes, Chris (March 2020). "A Message From Chris Holmes". Ask Italian. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
- "Restaurant chain Zizzi and Ask Italian closing 75 branches". BBC News. 17 July 2020. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
- The ASK Italian Cookbook by Carla Capalbo, Theo Randall. Archived from the original on 2015-09-25. Retrieved 2015-09-24.