The first branch was opened in 2004 and as of now the firm has 37 locations across the UK, while the first was opened overseas in Amsterdam in July. The past two years really marked Leon’s rapid growth, as it doubled the number of restaurants over the period while increasing sales by 50 per cent.To capitalise on the current momentum, Leon has secured a £19m loan from OakNorth. In the next four years, the company, which prides itself on creating fast food with a natural edge, expects to create 50 extra sites and 1,000 new jobs. Leon co-founder and CEO John Vincent said the loan will help the business cater to demand, as customers have requested the brand’s presence in their towns and cities. He believes that consumer demand, alongside a dedicated workforce, makes for fertile territory. “This significant amount of money makes it possible for us to achieve both these things, and takes us a step closer to achieving our aim of making it easy for everyone to eat and live well,” said Vincent. “Leon set out to revolutionise fast food. Rishi and Joel at OakNorth are doing the same for banking. Antony, the Leon CFO, and I have found them incredibly good to deal with – they have a similarly positive, entrepreneurial, can-do attitude to business as we do at Leon.”
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Leon’s health-based strategy come at a time when employers have been slammed by workers for directly contributing to obesity.
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