Fresh fast food chain LEON, which was acquired earlier this year by EG Group, has unveiled plans to open new restaurants and create thousands of jobs.
The company’s new growth strategy focuses on plans to more than double the pace of its store rollout programme.
More than than 50 restaurants will be opened in the next year, creating 1,000 jobs, as well as 4,000 jobs over the next three years.
Earlier this year, following the acquisition of LEON by EG Group, the business said it planned to open 20 restaurants in 2022.
Following the success of newly opened restaurants, including LEON’s first drive-thru in West Yorkshire and new LEON sites in Asda Milton Keynes and Asda Holtspur in Beaconsfield, it will upscale its UK expansion.
New restaurants will include both traditional and new formats such as drive-thrus, smaller restaurants on petrol forecourts and Asda premises and LEON To Go coffee outlets.
The brand will for the first time be expanding its footprint across the whole of the country, with openings planned in both Scotland and Wales for early 2022.
Mohsin Issa CBE and Zuber Issa CBE, co-founders and co-chief executives of EG Group, said that when EG Group purchased LEON this year, it 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,” they said.
“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.”
Glenn Edwards, managing director of LEON restaurants, added: “We are very excited to announce a significant acceleration of LEON’s expansion. 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. We are absolutely focused on delivering for our customers and living up to LEON’s mission – making it easier for everybody to eat well, live well and be kind to the planet.”
LEON will also expand internationally into the Netherlands with its own restaurants, with the first site due to be opened in Honswijk, on one of the top five busiest motorways in the country. This will be followed by ten further openings in the country ahead of a wider European expansion programme.
The expansion programme will be accompanied by additional investment into digital platforms across LEON sites, including new digital kiosks and menu screens, engaging customers more effectively.
Further technology investments will be focused on enabling customers to order remotely without a queue. The company is also investing in grocery and in expanding the LEON at Home range across grocery, cookbooks and homeware.