London is a great laboratory of experiences for the concepts of fast food, snacking and a more global way for food shops. Signs and franchises that caught our attention include Byron on the burger market, Tortilla on Mexican-inspired fast food, and a plethora of fast-food concepts positioned on the bio, like Leon, Pure, or Veggie Ready launched by Prêt à Manger, a brand omnipresent in the streets of the capital.
Organic, veggie and healthy on the menu of these English franchises
Discovered in the neighborhood of Soho, LEON is not an unknown brand for most Londoners because it already has 42 points of sale in activity (of which 8 are operated in franchise), with the following base line “Naturally fast food”. Deployment in the United Kingdom remains a priority, but the company’s managers are watching the French market with some interest.
Mixed between an Exki, Cojean and Ready to eat, the PURE (Made for you) sign is a concept that plays the card of “good eating”. This is of course also the case of Veggie Prêt which opened in June 2016. Originally conceived as an ephemeral point of sale, it has been so successful that it is always open. Should we imagine a specific duplication of this veggie concept? Difficult to know because the leaders of Prêt à Manger are still as discreet on the development projects of the brand, especially in France.
Street food and world cuisine for these chains straight from England
Street food is an English specialty and London in particular. In the image of Borough Market, not a market without its offer of kitchens of the world (Indian, Chinese …), its fish and chips stands, cafes or bakeries pastries. In these places, the range of organic or veggie ranges is part of the landscape, alongside more standard products (grills, sandwiches, salads …). Note the presence of juice bars or smoothies, with references made by the minute before the eyes of customers. The freshness of products and speed of execution are being an attractive argument for consumers.
Whether in the streets, shopping centers or markets, the other trend that also strikes is the great diversity of cuisine offered, with the impression of having the entire world represented on the streets of London.
Just take an example, with Mexican-inspired cuisine. Created in 2007 and today at the head of 31 restaurants, Tortilla offers burritos, tacos and other great classics (quesallida, tortilla chips …) in a “fast casual” environment. Very strong on the lunch portion, Tortilla now also offers a special offer for afternoons and after work format. The company currently employs 450 people in the Kingdom. The international deployment is nowadays. The brand already has 2 restaurants open in Dubai (Festival City Mall and Dubai Parks). Another opened in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) and in Jeddah (Red Sea Mall). Tortilla has a fairly aggressive expansion plan in the area.
Burger is still burger!
While walking the streets of London, we certainly do not escape the mastodons of the area in the image of Mc Donald’s, Burger King and Five Guys but the most surprising is to discover channels that have already reached a critical size in the image of Byron (70 restaurants in the United Kingdom) positioned in the “gourmet burger” segment, which each time adapts its decor according to its location and its commercial environment. Also seen in several places, the concept Gourmet Burger Kitchen which has nearly 80 outlets in the country, as well as Honest Burger (16 restaurants) which offers beef burgers, chicken with sauce “veggie”.
In a general way, certain actors mentioned in this file reflect on their launch on other European markets, including in France. Before that, some adaptation of their original concept cannot be excluded, both in terms of products and formats of point of sale. Case to follow closely in 2017 in any case!