Leon has announced plans to more than double the pace of its store rollout programme, with more than 50 restaurants to be opened in 2022, creating 1,000 jobs next year and 4,000 jobs over the next three years.
Earlier this year, the business announced plans to open 20 restaurants over 2022, following its acquisition by the EG Group.
However, after the success of its 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, the company will now upscale its UK expansion.
New restaurants will reportedly 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 expansion will be focused on supporting Leon’s regional growth, and for the first time, the brand will be expanding its footprint across the whole of the country, with openings planned in both Scotland and Wales for early 2022.
Additionally, the restaurant’s expansion programme will be accompanied by investment into digital platforms across its sites. This will include new digital kiosks and menu screens, and further technology investments will be focused on enabling customers to order remotely without a queue.
Meanwhile, Leon will expand internationally into the Netherlands, with the first site due to be opened in Honswijk. This will be followed by 10 further openings in the country in advance of a wider European expansion programme.
Glenn Edwards, managing director of Leon, said: “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.”
Mohsin Issa CBE and Zuber Issa CBE, co-founders and co-CEOs of 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.”