U.K. Chains Look Across the Pond for Growth

The increase of hot dogs and barbecue dishes on menus is evidence of American influence on U.K. dining. But several U.K. restaurant chains are wagering that North American diners are hungry for a taste of Britain.

Technomic’s U.K. Foodservice Digest uncovered a handful of brands following in the footsteps of Pret A Manger, attempting to enter the North American market or broaden their current position in the U.S. and Canada.

  • Caffè Nero plans to open a second U.S. outlet following the success of its Boston unit. The café is set to open later this year in the Jamaica Plain historic district of Boston. Caffè Nero entered the U.S. earlier this year. (Propel.info 15/7/14)
  • Carluccio’s is set to trial three prototypes in the Washington, DC, area as part of its U.S. debut. The first location, planned for Alexandria, VA, will be a 125-seat upscale suburban unit with a dining room, bar and market. The 6,500-square-foot unit will feature an open kitchen and will have an airy feel. The Alexandria unit is expected to open this fall. Another unit in the area will be an urban prototype, and the third a mall prototype. (Washington Business Journal 28/5/14)
  • Jamie’s Italian plans to enter Canada with up to 10 units. The deal was signed with franchisee King Street Food Co. The first unit is expected to open in Toronto in early spring 2015 at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Jamie’s Italian currently has 35 locations across the U.K., Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. (Propel.info 26/6/14)
  • Wasabi Sushi & Bento Box plans to open a second New York City unit at 7 World Trade Center in March 2015. The company is also negotiating to open a unit at Manhattan’s downtown Fulton Street subway station, which is currently under renovation. The chain’s first New York location opened in Times Square in February. (Nation’s Restaurant News 30/6/14)
  • YO! Sushi U.S. franchisee One.23 Entertainment signed three leases on sites in New Jersey and Florida as part of its agreement to open 50 U.S. sites over the next six years. The stores are expected to open by December, with additional stores expected to open in New Jersey and Tampa, FL, at the beginning of 2015. Exact locations have not been disclosed. YO! Sushi currently operates 70 stores in the U.K. and 10 international franchisees in the Middle East, Ireland and Scandinavia. (The Telegraph 9/2/14)

Technomic expects U.K. restaurant chains to increasingly look to beyond their borders for future store development. Operators who can offer something new or improved to these markets have the prospect of finding success abroad.

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Rachel Royster

Rachel Royster is a Senior Coordinator, Editorial Content at Technomic Inc. in Chicago. She is responsible for writing and editing content for the company’s newsletters, which cover the U.S. foodservice markets. She also writes and edits content for Technomic’s Digital Resource Library and MenuMonitor, searchable online databases that include vital segment and industry data for the U.S., Canadian, U.K. and other international foodservice markets.

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