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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 10th May 2017 - Wingstop signs deal to open 100 UK sites two weeks after presenting at Propel’s US Franchise Forum
Wingstop signs deal to open 100 UK sites two weeks after presenting at Propel’s US Franchise Forum: Wingstop Restaurants, which presented to 100 UK operators at the US Restaurant Franchise Forum, held a fortnight ago by Propel in partnership with World Franchise Associates, has announced it is extending its global reach by expanding into the European market. The company has entered into an international agreement with Lemon Pepper Holdings (LPH), which is set to open 100 locations in the UK in the next 12 years, with the first restaurant set to open by the end of this year. Rita Sharma, founder and chief executive of luxury travel empire, will back the newly established LPH. Other partners on the board include Saul Lewin and Boris Kofman, of V2 Leisure, which was involved in launching Novikov in the UK in 2011 and brokered high-profile London restaurant openings, including Sumosan Twiga, Park Chinois, and MNKY HSE in Mayfair, as well as Tom Grogan, co-founder of Lutti London, a privately owned real estate investment group. Sharma said: “My family and I are very excited to bring Wingstop to the UK. We have been assessing an investment in the food and beverage sector for some time and believe Wingstop is the right opportunity with the right team involved. Wingstop brings a new and exciting option to an under-served chicken category within the overall UK food sector.” LPH said it had created a strong operational team, advisory council and support structure, with UK experience in brands such as Shake Shack, Five Guys, Pret A Manger, Cote Brasserie and Jamie’s Italian. Wingstop president of International Larry Kruguer added: “The European market represents a significant international growth opportunity for Wingstop and a meaningful next step on our path to becoming a top-ten restaurant brand, meeting both franchisee interest and consumer demand. LPH has shown it is in tune to the type of brand experience the UK consumer is looking for, and we are thrilled to have the company join the Wingstop family. Rita Sharma is one of the most respected entrepreneurs in Britain and has built a highly successful company from the ground up.” LPH will focus on adapting Wingstop to the UK, paying close attention to customer experience, branding and fit-out, including a number of exciting architectural design adaptations that should have positive effects for the rest of Europe. Wingstop, which operates 1,031 locations worldwide, focuses on freshly prepared, cooked-to-order, hand-sauced and tossed chicken wings and side dishes. The UK will mark the tenth international market outside the US, but the first in Europe.

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