By Scott Wright

ITALIAN restaurant group Tony Macaroni has launched a franchise model that it declared could create as many as 2,000 jobs across the UK.

The Glasgow-based chain, owned by Sep Marini, said the roll-out could result in £50 million being invested in the hospitality industry in the next the three years. Franchisees are being sought to run Tony Macaroni outlets across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. There are currently 19 Tony Macaroni restaurants.

Mr Marini said: “The next year to 18 months will be exciting for everyone at Tony Macaroni. We are perfectly positioned to come out of the Covid-19 storm stronger and better than ever.

READ MORE: Tony Macaroni reveals £5m expansion drive

“Our restaurants have already seen pleasing levels of trade since lockdown began to be lifted because of the strength of our brand and the quality of food and service.

"Ultimately, I want the brand to become a prized fixture in every city and large town across the UK , and whilst we will continue to open more restaurants ourselves across Scotland, the time is right for us to offer experienced franchise operators... the chance to bring this much loved brand into their portfolios.”