Another transatlantic burger chain is eyeing territory in the capital, thumbing their nose at domestic chains struggling in the Brexit climate; this time, it’s The Habit. Established in Santa Barbara in 1969, The Habit has finalised a franchise agreement with private equity firm Pegasus Foods to bring their brand of beachside burgers to the UK and the Netherlands in 2018.
Promising to “transport you” from a grim bedsit in Archway “to a place where cool ocean breezes sweep gently through majestic green palm fronds,” The Habit’s Charburgers stand out for their inclusion of fresh salads and beef patties cooked over an open flame, something of a novelty in the age of the “dirty” burger. Perhaps most notable is that the chain appears to be eschewing city central real estate for two (as yet undisclosed) sites in the “suburbs of London” in 2018, before rolling out a further 28 stores nationwide within the first five years trading.
The UK burger market is undeniably saturated, with domestic chains and other, better established US entrants like Shake Shack and Five Guys taking up on every street corner, and it is continuing to grow; Wimpy, Fatburger and Smashburger all plan to expand operations in the coming years. So, while The Habit claims freshness as its calling card, it remains to be seen whether heading for the suburbs is enough to stop the market going stale.