Big Fernand, the French burger restaurant, is planning its second restaurant to open early next year in London or another UK city, M&C understands.
Mathieu Durand, who heads up UK activity for the brand, told M&C there are many options for the next site and the group would consider another town or city after adapting the model to suit British dining habits.
“Why not go to Manchester or Liverpool or Brighton – we have options. We had to get to know the differences between France and London and now we could get to know the differences between London and another town.
“The second site will not be opening in the next six months but decision on where it will be is being made to open maybe in eight or nine months.”
Big Fernand’s first UK restaurant opened in March in Fitzrovia, Durand said the first six months have been ”amazing” but not as the group expected.
He said ahead of opening in Fitzrovia the group conceded that it would have to make changes to the French model over the first year of operation.
These differences have included the way British people take lunch breaks and their response to information on provenance.
Durand said: “In France everyone takes an hour for lunch but in London it is only about 20 minutes and we have a very concentrated period between 1 – 1.30pm.”
He said the majority of customers visit the restaurant at that time so speed of service is more important in the London restaurant than in France.
Over the past six months the restaurant has been busiest on a Friday, with an average daily turnover two to three times higher on a Friday than other days; Durand suggested this difference between the UK and France is that the British indulge more ahead of the weekend with “fat Friday”.
The company operates 16 restaurants across France with half of those in Paris.
Durand said the growth in France has been more rapid because there was no competition from other burger restaurant brands.
He said the focus on provenance is incredibly important in France but in London customers were put off by the initial emphasis on provenance believing that meant would mean the food is too expensive for a fast casual meal; therefore the message of quality and provenance is only told to customers on their second or third visit.
It using quality meats, bread and cheeses as well as homemade sauces with all its meals; unexpectedly 30% of burgers sold are veal.
As well as the UK, Big Fernand has openings planned in Hong Kong, Belgium, Israel, Dubai and India as well as further openings in France.
Stores are operated under both franchise and company ownership depending on the country.
The company was launched by Alexandre Auriac with Steve Burggraf and Guillaume Pagliano who opened the first restaurant in 2012.