In an episode of BBC’s The Boss, which profiles business leaders, the ‘secret’ of fast food desire was revealed; and offers some insight for grocerants.
John Vincent, the CEO of Lion a 70-unit restaurant chain that operates in the UK and launched on Carnaby Street, as well as in Europe and with 3 restaurants in the US, promotes itself as “naturally fast food.”
What does that mean? Lion’s vision statement reads:
“There is something magical about fast food. As children we considered fast food the biggest treat imaginable. But then we grew up, and realized that most fast food doesn't make you feel good or help you live well. So, we asked ourselves: why can't fast food be good food?” Vincent goes on to write that he and his friend Henry Dimbleby “opened LEON, with our friend [and Chef] Allegra McEvedy, because we wanted to prove that it was possible to serve food that both tastes good and does you good.”
Their thought process was, as Vincent says, "if we could make good food as emotionally addictive as traditional fast food, which was good for you and kind to the planet, I thought it could be a fun business to run." Their pitch for Leon, the restaurant is named after his dad, was "what if God did fast food?", or "what if fast food was in heaven?".
Take a look at their website, leon.co and when you click on the menus you can select your food preferences, vegan, gut health, gluten free, under 500 calorie meals and the like and you’ll find fast foods that range from gluten free chicken nuggets to burgers (of all types) to Moroccan Meatballs Hot Box; and of course baked fries.
It’s a smart concept and one that grocerants should check out – and emulate (fancy word for copy!). Check out Leon on L Street NW in Washington DC.