Could Local Byron Burger Be For The Chop?

Uncertain future for gourmet burger chain which has closed some London branches

Byron Burger Wandsworth

Byron, the upmarket hamburger restaurant chain, appears to be in difficulties with reports that it is up for sale.

The Wandsworth branch, pictured above, is in the Southside shopping centre and currently remains open. Byron has confirmed that four branches are likely to close but has not yet announced which.

Sky News reported recently that the chain could be sold off at a knock down price with thirteen of its stores currently loss-making. The trading position of the local store is not known.

Sky said that the 74-site group was contemplating a sale for just £25 million, and speculated it could be the first major post-Brexit informal dining casualty. Investment company Hutton Collins purchased the chain in 2013 for over £100 million when it was put on the market by Gondola (owners of Pizza Express, Ask and Zizzi). It now employs over 1800 people, having doubled in size since that purchase.

R Capital, which specialises in buying troubled businesses, has been one of a number of potential buyers to hold talks with the chain's owners and management.

Earlier this year Byron's current owners Hutton Collins closed four under-performing sites, and last month Byron’s investors hired management firm KPMG to undertake a strategic review and assess the short and medium term options for the business.

The chain has branches in Cambridge, Liverpool, Manchester, Kent, and Oxford as well as London. In 2013 it posted profits of over £8million.

Byron Burger was set up after founder Tom Byng spent a four year stint in America as a student where he "ate enough hamburgers to sink the Titanic". When he returned to London in 2007 he felt there weren't any restaurants offering burgers like those at his favourite American diner, The Silver Top, so set about setting up the restaurants with the financial backing of Pizza Express owner Gondala. He is sometimes referred to as the "bourgeois Burger King".

Byron have yet to comment on the reports.


December 31, 2017