>Welcome to the LEON Press Room. Here you'll find out more about LEON's commitment to create fast food that is good for you, affordable and kind to the planet. Materials on this site are intended for media seeking information about our restaurants and food within the United States.
>LEON was founded in 2004 with the mission to ‘make it easier for everyone to eat and live well.’ The company has 61 locations in the U.K., Norway, and the Netherlands. LEON is led by co-founder and CEO John Vincent and is backed by two principal investors including Brazil-based GP Investments, a leading global private equity fund, and London-based, Active Private Equity. In 2017, GP Investments’ subsidiary, Spice Private Equity invested in LEON to fund its growth in Europe and the US. LEON has been an award-winning brand from the start, earning recognition as Best Newcomer in 2005 and a steady stream of accolades since, including Best Quick Service Restaurant. LEON was named Raymond Blanc Sustainability Hero in 2017 and is the recipient of the People Award for Employee Engagement, the Responsible Capitalism Award, and was given the award for Best Company in addition to its other credits.
>For press inquiries, contact Heather Marohn at firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 4, 2018) – LEON, the London-based pioneer of “Naturally Fast Food” will open its first U.S. location in September at 1724 L Street NW in Washington D.C. This will be the brand’s first foray into the U.S. fast food market.
Download press release
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 5, 2018)—Who can say Fa-la-la-fel five times fast? With menu names that are as fun as the items are flavorful, LEON introduces new holiday options in time for Thanksgiving.
Download press release
>John did one of those clever personality tests once and it pegged him as a ‘Challenger,’ which we think is about right. Even though he doesn’t always succeed, he likes to make things better. John started the Naturally Fast Food brand LEON in 2004 with Henry Dimbleby and Allegra McEvedy. John and Henry’s business travels made them realize that the only available food on the go was making them fall asleep…and wake up feeling unwell. LEON has from the beginning set out to create ‘fast food as it would be in heaven’. LEON has restaurants mostly in the UK but also in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Oslo, Gran Canaria. John’s business and life interests are based on making it easier for everyone to eat and live well. John co-wrote the School Food Plan with Henry which resulted in dramatic changes to school food. Including free school meals for all infants, new legislation about the quality of the food, practical cooking on the national curriculum for the first time, and a culture change in how food is grown, taught, prepared and eaten in schools. John and Henry were awarded an MBE in 2016 for their work. John was joint CEO with Henry from 2004 to 2008, and took over day to day running of LEON as sole CEO in 2014. John has co-authored seven LEON cookbooks. John is currently writing a book called Winning not Fighting about what the martial art of Wing Tsun, as practiced by Bruce Lee, can teach you about life and business. John is the founding Chair of a new body called the Council for Sustainable Business which works with both businesses and government to inspire companies and politicians to improve and protect the environment. LEON was named the Observer Food Monthly Best Newcomer shortly after opening, and John and Henry were named ‘Raymond Blanc Sustainability Heroes’ in 2017. The pair were also given The FIRST Responsible Capitalism Award 2015.
>Julian Hitch is an Industry Expert and Leader in Work Place Wellness. LEON was an early adopter for wellbeing across its fast growing business. Facing real time challenges for healthy fast food, serving in 30 seconds during peak times, Julian created a wellness program that had to be time efficient, effective and ultimately a routine. Julian Co-Founded Sienna Programme; a Wellbeing Consultancy taking on a limited clients in various sectors to make this a reality. He is a professional Sportsman; the highest level Martial Artist in Wing Tsun Kung Fu. He has made the Guinness Book of Records and trained a wide range of people from the Special Force Unit to Priests. Julian is currently wiring a book about the principles of Martial Arts applied to business with John Vincent called ‘Winning not Fighting’ and will be published by Penguin Spring 2019.
>As the Managing Director of LEON US, Glenn has led the launch of LEON in the States. His passion and experience lie in helping great brands reach their potential. Before joining LEON, Glenn worked with Julian Metcalfe, the founder of Pret a Manger, for over 11 years building the UK-based sushi restaurant ITSU from restaurant number one through 30. During this time, he was responsible for Operations, Training & Recruitment, Food, and Brand & Marketing. He had loved LEON as a customer and frequently thought about joining the team. Once the thought became reality, he spent seven years as the LEON Operations Director in London, growing the restaurant count from 10 to over 50 locations in the UK and Europe. When John came to Glenn with the opportunity of leading the LEON US expansion, Glenn couldn’t refuse the opportunity. Although Glenn is British born and bred, he developed a love of the US when he worked on Long Island, NY as a student. Having always wanted to work in hospitality, he studied hotel management and institutional leadership for four years. When not at LEON, or enjoying food, Glenn can be found spinning in a DC studio working on his own wellbeing.