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Azzurri Restaurants Ltd
Founded1999; 24 years ago (1999)
Number of locations
(as of March 2022)[1]

Zizzi is a chain of Italian-inspired restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In February 2015, Bridgepoint Capital completed a £250 million acquisition of ASK Italian and Zizzi,[2] and subsequently bought by TowerBrook Capital Partners in 2020.[3]


Zizzi opened their first restaurant in Chiswick in 1999.[1][4]

As of March 2022, the Zizzi portfolio includes about twenty five London restaurants. Other footprints in major cities, include: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, and Sheffield.

Their restaurant estate also includes: Aberdeen, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.

On 17 July 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, 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.[5]

Notable incidents[edit]

Strand self-harm incident[edit]

On 22 April 2007, a 35-year-old Polish man entered the Zizzi restaurant on The Strand and made his way into the kitchen, where he obtained a knife he then used to sever his penis in front of diners.[6] Whilst it was initially believed that attempts to re-attach the appendage had been unsuccessful, The Guardian reported later that week that surgeons had, in fact, been able to do so, ‘in the first operation of its kind in the country’, a procedure that was carried out at St Thomas’ Hospital after police recovered the penis from the restaurant floor.[7]

Salisbury nerve agent poisoning[edit]

The Zizzi in Salisbury was linked to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal since the pair had dined there. Advice was given to those who had eaten at the restaurant and the nearby Mill Pub on Sunday 4 or Monday 5 March 2018 to take measures such as washing or wiping their personal belongings, even though the risk of harm to other diners was reported to be "low".[8]


In the summer of 2011, Zizzi began using the service, Pennies, in all their restaurants to give their customers the option to top up their bill by 20p and donate to charity.

By March 2012, over £50,000 had been raised for charity, with the majority going to long-standing charity partner, The Prince's Trust. Pennies with Zizzi was crowned "Project of the Year" by the Real IT Awards in 2012, also picking up the prize for Corporate, Social and Environmental Responsibility.[9][unreliable source?] In 2020, Zizzi won the Lausanne Index Prize - Novel Product of the Year.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Find your Local Zizzi Restaurant | Italian Restaurants". Zizzi.
  2. ^ "Bridgepoint Completes £250 Million Acquisition of ASK ITALIAN and ZIZZI". Bridgepoint.
  3. ^ "Azzurri Group acquired in pre-pack by Towerbrook Capital Partners". RPBI OPenings. Retrieved 3 January 2023.
  4. ^ "Greater London Archives". Zizzi.
  5. ^ "Restaurant chain Zizzi and Ask Italian closing 75 branches". BBC News. 17 July 2020. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Man cuts off penis in restaurant". BBC News. 24 April 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  7. ^ Glendinning, Lee (25 April 2007). "Man who cut off penis has it reattached". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  8. ^ "Russian spy: Salisbury diners told to wash possessions". BBC News. 11 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Untitled Prezi". Prezi. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  10. ^ "2020 L.I.P. Novel Product of the Year - Zizzi".

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Zizzi at Wikimedia Commons