Milan-based vegan burger brand Flower Burger has signed a master franchise agreement with London-based multi-brand operator Gerry’s Group to develop the brand across the UK.

The partnership has been engineered by franchise consultant Seeds Consulting and will involve 45 openings in key cities over the next 10 years.

Gerry’s Group operates 33 Costa Coffees in the UK, as well as Wok To Walk franchises in the UK and IHOP restaurants in Pakistan.

Flower Burger already operates in Italy, France and the Netherlands.

Its vegan burger patties are produced in-house from fresh ingredients, while the buns are coloured with natural ingredients, making them popular on Instagram and other social medi

Matteo Toto, Flower Burger’s founder and managing director, said: “People do not normally associate vegan food with fun and enjoyment. They are also tired of the equation vegan food = junk food. Flower Burger is about changing this perception, with a psychedelic brand and restaurant décor and a natural, great tasting product that we produce ourselves and that is unique to us”.

Matteo Frigeri, Seeds Consulting director, added: “In line with changes in consumer habits, the vegan restaurant segment is heating up and any new brand coming on the market needs to add something new or face irrelevance.

“We are confident Flower Burger has that differentiation: its simple operation is a competitive advantage per se in the age of rising labour costs, but what did it for us is the fact the brand nails the fundamentals: it delivers a great dining experience at competitive price points”.

Sites of between 600 and 1,000 sq ft are being sought, initially in centrally located London high streets, surrounded by quality independents.