IT SEEMS like today most stores have reinvented themselves, broadened their product range and branched into various forms of the one-stop shop.

You can stock up on dvds in Asda, buy your car insurance in Tesco’s and top up your phone at the post office – you can even buy salad in McDonald’s.

If you had told me that ten years ago I would have choked on my lard-filled milkshake.

The question is, can a business still survive with just one service?

A foodie firm which appears to be doing that – and thriving – is Pizza Margherita.

Forget the caesar salads, sirloin steaks and fish dishes – if you want a main course here it’s going to be pizza.

The menu gives four other main meal options, but essentially this place makes a living from sticking toppings on bread-based surfaces and baking them for three minutes a piece, 500 times a day.

My old friend Katie and I visited this independent Italian affair, in Lancaster, for the first time last weekend.

The venue is clean and slick, with black and white lino flooring dating back from its opening in 1979 and a huge glass front, allowing you to watch the people running to evening performances at Dukes Theatre or back across to town.

Service was friendly and quick.

I could see my Alfresco Pizza being put together behind the hatch – a trick that is more spellbinding than a circus act with 12 pirouetting elephants when you’re hungry.

At 2pm on a Friday the place was busy but not overwhelming.

Katie dished up news from back home and restaurant staff served up lovely slices of the restaurant’s speciality.

My piping hot dish was scattered with a generous assortment of mushrooms, sweetcorn, onion, peppers, olives, garlic, tomato, herbs and mozzarella cheese.

It had a base that was soft and crispy in all the right places and an ideal cheese-to-tomato ratio.

Pizza is never going to be a set piece in haute cuisine culture, but the success of restaurants that dedicate themselves to making it well, and from scratch, proves that this unpretentious dish has a permanent place on British plates.