BurgerFi global ambassador Steve Lieber has blamed soaring operating costs in London for the closure of the brand’s two UK sites.

Speaking to MCA, Lieber said the economic climate, high costs and rising rent made operating a fast food restaurant prohibitively expensive.

He said: “It seems like conditions are pretty bad over there. We thought Byron was one of our main competitors and we heard they’ve had problems as well.

“The economic climate, with high costs and high rent, are prohibitive – unless you’re doing a steakhouse which has a high checkout.

“I’m disappointed for [UK operator] Jamie Wood. I believe the brand was strong enough to have a good run in the country.”

The concept, which was founded in Florida in 2011 and operates c80 sites in the US, had signed an agreement with Ground Round Ltd, led by Rolling Stones Ronnie Wood’s son Jamie, to open sites in the UK.

The brand, which had spoken about opening 10 sites in London before expanding outside the capital, opened its first UK restaurant in the Wembley Central shopping scheme in 2016, with a further site in Woburn Place, near Russell Square following a year later.

At the time of its UK launch, Lieber told MCA BurgerFi was attempting to revive the Golden Age of the American hamburger.