The appointment of Brad Blum, the former chief executive of burger King, as an adviser to and board member of Leon, the London-based healthy fast food chain, will lead to the UK group launching in the US, with New York mooted as a potential first location. The link up could also eventually see Blum, who has also invested in Leon, introduce his healthy fast food concept, Dogmatic, which launched in New York in 2008, into the UK. Earlier this week, Leon, which was founded in 2004 by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent and currently operates 11 sites in the UK, the majority in London, set out its ambition to eventually operate over 150 restaurants in the UK and to establish the concept as an international chain. It also signed a deal with American firm HMSHost, which specialises in running food outlets in transport hubs, to open its first two franchised outlets. The first will open at King’s Cross station on 18 March, with a site at Heathrow set to follow, along with another three in similar locations. Blum, who is also the former chief executive of Olive Garden, told M&C Report that he had been attracted to the “shared ethos” that both he and Leon’s founders shared on providing “good food for the planet”. He said: “That is the key statement that we share and what I believe makes Leon such a great idea. I was impressed by the concept, the quality of the food, the company’s nutritional responsibility and Mediterranean influence that ran through the offer. There was a great deal of potential in the company.” Blum said he believed that Leon’s smaller sites, for example in the Strand and Carnaby Street, would provide the perfect template for the expansion of the brand both nationally and internationally due to the “intimacy and high energy” of that format. He said: “London and the UK will be the initial focus for the group’s expansion but talk has turned to the US and I believe the concept would work well there and match the ambition of being a global player which serves good, healthy fast food.” Blum who has built up a relationship with Vincent over the last year and half, said he was also impressed by the Leon co-founder’s separate venture, Flat Planet, which currently operates a site in Great Marlborough Street. He said: “It’s definitely another format with great potential that could lend itself to opening in the States.”