Fast Food

Neat Burger to Close Four London Locations Following Decrease in Footfall

UK-based vegan restaurant chain Neat Burger has announced it will be closing four of its London locations due to “macro pressures reflected across the industry”.

The company said the shift towards remote and hybrid working patterns had reduced footfall, while rising food, energy, and property costs were also negatively impacting sales. Neat Burger’s losses increased by 140% last year, reaching £7.9 million.

“Sometimes, taking a step back is necessary to make a bigger leap forward.”

Consequently, the chain’s restaurants in Liverpool Street, Canary Wharf, Oxford Street, and Westfield Stratford will close before Christmas, leaving four remaining locations. Neat Burger says any future expansion will focus on compact, high-footfall locations, and has dropped plans for new sites in Kings Road, Waterloo, Queensway, and the O2 Arena. The chain will also work to expand its delivery radius in partnership with Deliveroo.

Neat Burger was founded in 2019 by Tommaso Chiabra, and is backed by F1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton and actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Neat Burger
© Neat Burger

“Strategic step”

Despite facing challenging conditions in the UK, Neat Burger opened its first Italian location just last week. The chain may see greater success in mainland Europe, where the plant-based market remains strong; despite a bill passed by the Italian government to restrict the way meat alternatives can be marketed, 75% of Italians believe reducing meat consumption is important.

In Germany, meat sales hit a record low this year, while plant-based food sales reached a record high. Meanwhile, a recent study found that out-of-home sales of plant-based food have significantly increased in Europe’s Big 5 countries.

Neat Burger also continues to see success in the US, after opening its first permanent US location in New York City earlier this year. Sales at the restaurant have beaten expectations, helping the chain raise $18 million in a Series B round in May. Additionally, Neat Burger opened a location in Dubai in October 2022.

“The last four years have been a roller coaster for any hospitality business, we’re facing macro pressures that we’re seeing reflected across the industry, and the strongest brands are having to adjust their sails to account for increasing energy costs, food price inflation and compounding interest rates,” said Neat Burger in a statement. “This consolidation is a strategic step in our broader plan for future expansion, where our model focuses on smaller stores across multiple cities. We believe that sometimes, taking a step back is necessary to make a bigger leap forward.”

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