The Story so Far
Pesto Italian Restaurants is the creation of Neil and Sara, the company’s owners. Both have been involved in retail hospitality since their teens and have built their individual careers around the casual dining sector, delivering great food and hospitality at sensible prices.
“We both hate being ripped off in restaurants who charge fancy prices but don’t deliver fancy food and service” says Neil.
“At Pesto, we aim to give our customers great value for money by producing freshly cooked food, informal but efficient service in a warm relaxed atmosphere”.
Neil and Sara opened their first Pesto Italian Restaurant in 2006 on Manchester’s Deansgate. The following year they opened their second Pesto in The Great Hall, Trafford Centre, and then in Liverpool in 2008.
Glasgow has been a long time coming, particularly as it had been the original location for the launch of Pesto in 2005. But finally, after much ado, Pesto Italian Restaurant Glasgow opened on St Vincent Street in September 2011, making it their fourth and largest Restaurant.
Pesto has evolved out of Neil and Sara’s love for Italian food, but just not in traditionally monstrous portions. “I just find one big plate of pasta too much and a little boring once you’re half way through it – the same goes for big pizzas” says Sara.
“With Pesto you can order 5 or 6 dishes between the two of you and enjoy a selection of different tastes in one lunch” Sara added.
Outside of Pesto Neil and Sara have very different interests. Sara has a love of horses and Neil of anything with an engine that goes fast. Sara’s four legged equine friend is called “Alf”, who is a German Warmblood dressage horse.
Neil has been known to indulge in a number of forms of motor-sport, particularly rallying, although he now admits to being “not brave enough” to compete at the level he once enjoyed.
Looking to the future, Neil and Sara hope to bring Pesto Italian Restaurants to many more cities and towns throughout the UK.
“We constantly get emails and comments saying, please open in Birmingham, or Edinburgh etc” says Neil. “We’ll keep our eyes open for the right opportunity to take Pesto to another location, but our current restaurants are keeping us both pretty busy right now. We’re not going to rush into anything just yet.”