Leon to launch first drive-thru restaurant after Issa brothers’ takeover

Healthy fast food brand Leon is to launch its first drive-thru restaurant after being snapped up by forecourt giant EG Group.

The company, which runs more than 70 restaurants, was bought by the Blackburn billionaire brothers, Mohsin Issa and Zuber Issa, behind EG in April in a deal reported be worth about £100 million.

It came months after the Issa brothers bought the Asda supermarket business for £6.8 billion.

Leon has said it will launch its first drive-thru site in West Yorkshire this autumn, in a move which will create 30 jobs.

Zuber and Mohsin Issa
Zuber, left, and Mohsin Issa (EG/PA)

It added that the site will be the “first of many” drive-thru locations planned for the year as EG pushes forward with its plans to expand the brand further across the UK.

The Issa brothers said the move would also be the first of “many, new strategic openings” for Leon now it has secured EG’s financial backing.

Investment will also be driven into the site’s “digital-first restaurant”, which will include kiosks for digital ordering and payments.

The owners also said it will be most sustainable Leon restaurant to date, with 100% of power sourced through renewable energy.

Nick Ayerst, managing director of the chain, said it is a “significant milestone” for Leon.

He added: “We’ve been discussing the first Leon drive-thru with EG Group for five years now, and we’re excited to open in West Yorkshire later this year.

“We have three other Leons in the surrounding area and we’ve received such a warm welcome from locals, who tell us they love our naturally fast food.

“We receive lots of emails and tweets every week asking us to open even more restaurants in the north, and we hope this opening signifies that there are many more to come.”

In a joint statement, Mohsin and Zuber Issa, said: “Opening a Leon drive-thru concept is a landmark moment for the brand, creating a fantastic opportunity to bring Leon’s naturally fast food to even more people.

“Our investment in Leon, together with our unparalleled operational experience of drive-thrus and access to high-quality roadside locations through our forecourts, creates new opportunities for the company and a strong platform to deliver significant growth.”