Leon to accelerate expansion with plans for 50 new sites in 2022

22 December 2021 by
Leon to accelerate expansion with plans for 50 new sites in 2022

Leon, the ‘naturally fast food' chain, is to double the pace of its expansion plans in 2022 off the back of strong sales.

The restaurant group is to increase its number of sites opening next year from 20 to 50 in a move it said would create 1,000 jobs in 2022 and 4,000 over the next three years.

Leon was bought by EG Group, the petrol station forecourt operator controlled by the billionaire Issa brothers, in April.

Upcoming openings will include traditional restaurants and new formats such as drive-throughs, Leon To Go coffee outlets and smaller restaurants on petrol forecourts and at Asda supermarkets.

Expansion will focus on regional growth with Leon set to open in Scotland and Wales for the first time early next year.

The group will also expand internationally into the Netherlands, with the first site due to launch in Honswijk, on one of the busiest motorways in the country. This will be followed by a further 10 openings in advance of wider European expansion.

Growth will be accompanied by investment in technology such as digital kiosks and menu screens in Leon's sites, and enabling customers to order remotely without having to queue.

The retail range, Leon at Home, will widen its range of products across grocery, cookbooks and homeware.

Glen Edwards, managing director at Leon, said: "For the first time we will be taking Leon across the country, driving regional growth at speed. The new formats in this rollout will build on our traditional restaurants and form a base for further growth.

"Making Leon even more accessible is at the heart of this strategic expansion."

Leon was founded by John Vincent, Henry Dimbleby and Allegra McEvedy in 2004 and had grown to more than 70 restaurants when it was sold to EG Group this year.

EG Group is the largest KFC franchisee in western Europe, operating 220 sites. The Issa brothers made an unsuccessful bid to take over Caffè Nero last year.

TagsLeon and EG Group
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