A US fast food chain that operates more than 1,000 locations globally is bringing its offering to the UK and has set out an ambitious store opening programme.
Wingstop Restaurants is poised to make a huge restaurant and kitchen investment after revealing that it plans to open 100 locations in the UK over the next 12 years. The first restaurant will open before the end of the year.
The company’s expansion into the UK follows an agreement with Lemon Pepper Holdings, which will manage the business. LPH, which is a newly-established entity, will be backed by Rita Sharma OBE, founder and CEO of luxury travel empire Bestattravel.co.uk.
Other partners involved on the board include Saul Lewin and Boris Kofman of V2 Leisure, which was involved in launching Novikov in the UK in 2011 and brokered many of London’s high profile restaurant openings, including Sumosan Twiga, Park Chinois, and most recently opened MNKY HSE in Mayfair; as well as Tom Grogan, co-founder of Lutti London, a privately owned real estate investment group.
“My family and I are very excited to bring Wingstop to the United Kingdom,” said Sharma. “We have been assessing an investment into the food and beverage sector for some time and believe Wingstop is the right opportunity with the right team involved. Wingstop brings a new and exciting option to an underserved chicken category within the overall UK food sector.”
Wingstop will be the first fast casual restaurant for the newly established group. However, the founders say they have created a very strong operational team, advisory council and support structure with UK experience in brands such as Shake Shack, Five Guys, Pret a Manger, Cote Brasserie and Jamie Oliver’s Italian.
“The European market represents a significant international growth opportunity for Wingstop and a meaningful next step on our path to becoming a top 10 restaurant brand, meeting both franchisee interest and consumer demand,” said Larry Kruguer, president of international at Wingstop. Lemon Pepper Holdings has shown that they are very in tune to the type of brand experience the U.K. consumer is looking for, and we are thrilled to have them join the Wingstop family.”
LPH will focus its efforts on adapting Wingstop to the UK, paying close attention to customer experience, branding and fit out, including a number of exciting architectural design adaptations that should have positive effects for the rest of Europe.
The UK will mark the tenth international market outside of the United States, but the Company’s first foray into Europe.