Neat Burger ramps up expansion following $70m growth valuation

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Lewis Hamilton-backed vegan fast-food group Neat Burger ramps up expansion following $70m growth valuation

Related tags Vegan QSR Plant-based Lewis Hamilton Burger Casual dining Fast food Multi-site

Lewis Hamilton-backed vegan fast-food group Neat Burger is ramping up its expansion in the capital following the completion of a funding round that valued the company at $70m.

The group has confirmed its intention to launch 30 new London sites in the next 12 months, including 14 restaurants and 16 delivery kitchens. 

They include previously announced​ bricks and mortar sites in Victoria, Canary Wharf and Westfield Stratford, which are all expected to open by December.

Openings scheduled for the first half of 2022 include Bishopsgate, Ealing, Kings Road, O2, Queensway and Waterloo, with further sites in Covent Garden, London Bridge, Clapham, Hammersmith and Shoreditch also planned.

The 14 new restaurants will more than triple the brand’s existing brick and mortar portfolio, and go some way towards co-founder Zack Bishti's expectation to have 20 Neat Burger restaurant sites by the end of 2022. The group currently operates four permanent locations in Oxford Circus, Soho, Camden and Finsbury Park.    

Delivery, meanwhile, is set to reach all corners of London with 16 additional Neat Burger delivery kitchens launching across the capital as of early 2022 through partnerships with Deliveroo and REEF.

Speaking to BigHospitality back in March​, Bishti talked about finding the balance between physical and virtual growth.

He said: “Bricks and mortar will always [be] the heart of the Neat Burger brand.

"I hate the idea that someone would only know us from delivery. We don’t want to lose sight of having those flagship, permanent restaurants in our portfolio. No matter how much of our life becomes digitised as a result of this pandemic, being able to go out to meet your friends for some food and a drink just cannot be replaced; and for us that is key.

“However, it’s also about finding that sweet spot that balances real-world presence and delivery. We don’t know what the future holds in the short or the long term. If, for whatever reason, there is another shutdown, we want to be in a position to continue trading and be able to access as broad a market as possible. And the delivery kitchens easily facilitate that.”

The latest raise was led by Rajeev Misra, CEO of SoftBank Investment Advisers, and will be used to fund international expansion (including US, UAE and Italy) and product development. 

"I am thrilled to be part of the Neat team as it continues to develop and expand in the UK," says Misra. 

"The vegan market is growing rapidly, and it is an exciting time for the brand."

Misra joins existing founding investors including Henrik Fjordbak, former COO of Joe and Juice; David Yeung, founder of Green Monday; and Anthony Di Iorio, co-founder of cryptocurrency Ethereum. 

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