Burger chain’s arrival in UK market could spark gourmet price war

Habit Burger Grill

A US burger chain that was rated the best in America has thrown down the gauntlet to prospective UK rivals by promising to hit the “sweet spot” between value and quality when it launches in the market next month.

Bosses at the Habit Burger Grill plan to open their first British branches in the London suburbs from next spring, prompting speculation that the move could trigger a price war given its menu prices in the US.

According to the Evening Standard, Habit’s signature Charburger costs $3.35 (£2.55) while a “double char” is $4.35 (£3.30) compared with £7.25 for a hamburger at Five Guys and a Byron “Classic” for £7.50.

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Tom Lannary, marketing director at investor Pegasus Foods, which is backing the UK launch, said pricing was still to be agreed but a burger, fries and soft drink would be about £9 compared with about £7.50 at Burger King and £15 at Five Guys.

He told the papaer: “We feel we’re hitting the sweet spot between value and quality.”

The 195-branch chain intends to keep its costs down by opening in suburban locations, with the first site set to be located in Bromley. It plans to open a further 30 branches within the next five years.

The gourmet burger market is renowned for being extremely competitive, but Mr Lannary said it held no fears for the brand: “There is definitely space in what is still a growing market… the burger is just an integral part of British menu life.”

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