Taking a bite of the market: US chain Fatburger begins expansion of co-venture with Buffalo Express

By Georgia Bronte and James Wallin

- Last updated on GMT

Taking a bite of the market: US chain Fatburger begins expansion of co-venture with Buffalo Express

Related tags: Hamburger, Uk

The US encroachment into the UK’s burgeoning burger sector is showing no signs of abating with another 15 co-branded Fatburger and Buffalo’s Express restaurants set to open across the UK.

The restaurants will sell classic American-style burgers ranging in size from single to XXXL, with hand-scooped milkshakes and a selection of traditional sides. The Buffalo’s Express’ side of the venture will serve boneless and bone-in chicken wings and salads.

The move follows an agreement between global restaurant group FAT Brands and Charlie FB.

Fat Brands launched its first UK Fatburger restaurant in Camden in 2015​. The group currently has over 200 restaurants in 32 countries.

“There is significant opportunity for the burger and wing industry across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and we feel that our co-branded Fatburger and Buffalo’s Express restaurants will resonate well with both residents and visitors alike,” says Andy Wiederhorn, chief executive of FAT Brands.

“Like every Fatburger and Buffalo’s Express, our menu offerings and service will exude all things Americana.”

The brand is one of a growing number of US chains capitalising on the UK’s appetite for American dining options, following the likes of Five Guys, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Chipotle, Shake Shack, Smashburger and Smith & Wollensky.

Despite fears that the UK burger market could be becoming saturated, US brands continue to seek growth over here. Smashburger is part way through plans to open 35 UK sites over the next few years, creating up to 1,400 jobs. Five Guys now operates over 80 restaurants in the UK, and voted the UK’s number one choice for fast food in a 2016 survey by Market Force Information.

Shake Shack will this week launch its eighth UK restaurant in London’s Cambridge Circus​. New menu items feature cheese from local Neal’s Yard and products from London doughnut brand Crosstown alongside its traditional American burgers and shakes.

US burger giant Wendy’s has also hinted at making a return to the UK and in July hosted a one-day pop up in London’s Queen Street.​ The group was forced to surrender 10 UK leases back in 2000 blaming high property and operating costs, but is thought to be eyeing opportunities in the UK once again.

This story is based on information that first appeared on BigHospitality’s sister website MCA. To subscribe to its breaking news feed, click here

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