Leon has credited a menu revamp with helping to boost sales by more than 20% in the first quarter of 2019 as it confirmed plans to take on new restaurant projects over the coming months.
The healthy fast food chain has openings scheduled for the UK, Ireland, Switzerland and the US this year as it bids to take its offer to new cities.
Like-for-like sales in Q1 grew 23% as the company’s vegetarian and vegan dishes proved popular with customers. Nearly 50% of its menu is vegetarian versus 40% three years ago, while the number of vegan items is up from 28% to 40% over the same period.
The introduction of its ‘LOVe burger’ at the start of the year also fuelled its growth and became one of its most successful dishes ever. It is currently the third biggest selling item on the Leon menu behind its Baked Fries and Satay Chicken Hot Box.
The LOVe burger is made using a vegan patty and, from this month, will be available with the option of a gluten-free bun.
Next week, Leon will open its first ever restaurant in an out-of-town shopping centre when it takes up residence at Cheshire Oaks.
In May, it will launch in Dublin, with a second site planned for the Irish capital later this year. A total of 20 sites are in the pipeline for Ireland overall as part of an ambitious franchise strategy that will create 600 jobs.
In London, a long-awaited location will open on the main thoroughfare of Notting Hill Gate, and internationally it will roll into Basel in Switzerland during the autumn followed by more Swiss city locations.
Leon’s US expansion carries on apace too, with Washington DC’s second restaurant due to welcome its first customers later this year.