Another fast food brand born on the streets of New York City is moving into London. The Halal Guys will join the likes of Shake Shack, Five Guys, and By Chloe — three brands which have bucked the domestic downturn and expanded their portfolios in the last 18 months — by transposing a successful model on the British capital. The Evening Standard reports that the restaurant will open in London’s West End in the spring of next year. It will replace the Italian restaurant L’ulivo, just off Leicester Square, in March.
The Halal Guys will bring a fast-casual form of Middle Eastern grilled lamb, chicken, and fried falafel, or gyro beef, which is served over either rice or in a wrap. Assembled dishes are served with chilli and/or its famous ‘white’ garlicky herb sauce.
Halal Guys, founded by three Egyptians — Mohammed Abouelenein, Ahmed Elsaka and Abdelbaset Elsayed — in 1990, started out as a street food cart on the corner of West 53rd Street and 6th Avenue in Midtown in NYC; it has turned into one of the fastest growing restaurant chains in America, spearheaded by the franchise development firm Fransmart. Its opening in London is marked as the beginning of the brand’s expansion into the European market.
Last year, Eater reported that in the 27 years it had been operating, the Halal Guys had opened 35 restaurants, most since 2015. It has plans for hundreds more across the continent. The Evening Standard says that the latest projection is for up to 400 sites across North America and Asia.
Halal Guys has appointed Cedar Dean Group (CDG) Leisure to oversee its expansion strategy in the U.K. Its London debut and flagship restaurant will arrive on Irving Street, just off of Leicester Square in the centre of the city. CDG told Eater that the brand is planning to open three more in 2019, and has 20 outlets planned for the next five years.