Healthy restaurant chain Leon to launch franchise model
Fast food veteran hired to head up operation
The former chief executive of Burger King has been hired to guide the UK roll-out of a brand-new franchise – based on healthy eating restaurants.
Brad Blum, who was Burger King boss from December 2002 to July 2004, has taken a senior advisory role at Leon, six weeks before the brand’s first franchised outlet opens for business.
The restaurant will be based in the entrance hall of London’s Kings Cross station, and a further eatery will open at Heathrow Airport shortly after.
Leon’s founders Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, who have hitherto focused their expansion on London and the South East, plan to open a further three Leons – with the ultimate goal of 30 franchised outlets across the UK and US.
Dimbleby and Vincent have also inked an agreement with US firm HMSHost to manage the initial wave of franchised premises.
Leon already serves 50,000 people every week, and recorded revenue of £12m in 2011. The founders hope that, by adding a dash of Blum’s fast food acumen, they can create a truly unique proposition.
Dimbleby – son of the famous BBC political anchor David – told The Financial Times: “We believe that there will be a few global players who will succeed in serving good fast food. Our ambition is to be one of those.”
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