At the time of its acquisition by EG Group, in April this year, the healthy fast-food chain revealed ambitions to open around 20 Leon sites per year from next year – with the new target more than double its original goal.
The success of its recently opened restaurants, including its first drive-thru, in West Yorkshire last month, and new sites within Asda Milton Keynes and Asda Holtspur in Beaconsfield has spurred the business to upscale its growth plans.
New restaurants will include both traditional and new formats including further drive-thrus; smaller restaurants on petrol forecourts and Asda premises; and Leon To Go coffee outlets.
The accelerated rollout will also be focused on making Leon a national brand, with a push into all regions of the UK including its first sites in Scotland and Wales.
Leon will also be opening is own restaurants in the Netherlands, with the first due to launch in Honswijk, on one of the busiest motorways in the country. This will be followed by another 10 sites in the country, in advance of a wider European expansion programme.
Glenn Edwards, managing director, Leon restaurants, 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.”
The expansion programme will be accompanied by further investment into digital platforms across the estate, with new digital kiosks and menu screens. The Leon at Home range will also be expanded with new retail products, cookbooks and homeware.
Mohsin Issa CBE and Zuber Issa CBE, co-founders and co-CEOs, EG Group, said: “When EG Group purchased Leon this year, we saw a great brand with substantial potential for growth. We’re pleased that the business is now set to deliver on that promise, both in the UK and Europe.
“Our investment in Leon, coupled with EG’s unparalleled operational excellence in foodservice operations, is unlocking considerable value and will help to deliver significant future growth and continue the diversification of EG’s business.”