May 20 2013 Latest news:
by Sara Macham
Sunday, July 15, 2012
The boss of a national pizza chain has “fallen in love” with Tottenham after working at its branch in the High Road for a Channel 4 documentary.
Fouad Haghighat donned a uniform and spent two days behind the counter in Pizza GoGo for the programme Undercover Boss, in which chief executives disguised as workers go back to the shop floor.
The takeaway - the first of the multi-million pound business set up by Fouad’s father in 1987 - found itself at the epicentre of last summer’s riots and was forced to close for nine days following smoke and fire damage.
Fouad was impressed with how well Tottenham has recovered in the year since the unrest and was struck by its positive vibe.
He said: “I found that people were relaxed. I saw the “I Love Tottenham” banners everywhere and wore the badge when I was making deliveries.
“Most people I spoke to told me the rioters weren’t even from Tottenham. They were just using it as an excuse.”
The shop’s manager Mohamed Ayubi, who has lived in Tottenham for 16 years, stopped the building from burning down completely when he pushed a burning police car away, saving the homes of families living in the flats above.
“It’s heartwarming to know that somebody in my business cares so much,” added Fouad. “But it reflects most people who have businesses in Tottenham. They did what they could.
“I fell in love with the place. I officially love Tottenham, too!”
Fouad knows nine days is a long time in business to be closed and the company handed out leaflets advertising they were re-open.
The takeaway didn’t get any calls for two months as people assumed they were closed.
“It had a big effect on our business,” he said. “Fortunately we have very local customers so they’re all coming back to us.”