Formula 1 legend Lewis Hamilton plans to open seven more London locations of his vegan burger chain, Neat Burger, along with 20 delivery-only outposts to meet a growing demand for convenient and taste plant-based food.
London-based Neat Burger was started by world champion race car driver and vegan advocate Lewis Hamilton in partnership with the hospitality group The Cream Group and Beyond Meat investor Tommaso Chiabara.
In a recent announcement, Hamilton will expand his vegan burger chain to seven additional locations in London along with 20 ‘dark’ kitchens that offer delivery-only options.
The locations will include shops in Ealing, Victoria, Bishopsgate, Finsbury Park, on the King’s Road and at “two major shopping centres” which aren’t disclosed yet.
Since 2017, Hamilton turned vegan, and to encourage plant-based eating among people, he started his first Neat Burger in Central London back in 2019 and given the success of the first one, opened the second one in the Camden area and following the success of its DTC operations with Deliveroo, he opened a third location last December in the Soho neighborhood.
The chain offers customers a range of vegan items including vegan cheeseburgers, chick’n burgers, hot dogs, tater tots, ice cream, and milkshakes, along with kids’ meals.
Speaking to Evening Standard, Director of Neat Burger, Zack Bish, said that the expansion is proof that more and more people are turning vegan. “A few years ago, most people would not have been that into the idea of a plant-based burger restaurant, and restaurants had one option on the menu to cater for the vegetarians. The fact that there is now such a high demand for a totally plant-based offering is really encouraging and exciting to us. Even meat-eaters are going out of their way to choose plant-based options as the awareness of the effect it has on the world grows and grows.”
Even meat-eaters are going out of their way to choose plant-based options as the awareness of the effect it has on the world grows and growsZack Bish, Director of Neat Burger
Apart from expanding in the U.K., Hamilton has plans to start a similar concept in 14 locations worldwide including major cities like New York and Los Angeles.
In addition, Neat Burger has partnered with The Eden Projects, a nonprofit that helps developing countries restore natural landscapes that have been wrecked by deforestation, and so for every product that a consumer buys, a tree is planted.
Bish added: “A lot of operators are nervous about a post-Covid world, and everything ‘going remote’, but we think people are excited about getting out and eating together again.”
Hamilton has always been a fierce advocate of veganism. Back in November of last year, Hamilton after his seventh Formula One Championship win, posted an Instagram story that featured a video of pigs being slaughtered, motivating 30 million of his followers to switch to a plant-based diet.
Hamilton also supports London-based food tech Jack and Bry: the startup’s Fillet-no-Fish patty features on the Neat Burger menu, offering consumers U.K.’s ‘first plant-based fish burger’.
Back in September of last year, Hamilton decided to support electric car racing and created a new team to compete in the electric off-road racing series Extreme E, and hopes to raise awareness about the carbon emissions and pollution which conventional vehicles let out in the air causing climate change.
To further highlight plant-based food and its benefits, especially among athletes, Hamilton helped produce the documentary film, The Game Changers, along with other celebrities including professional tennis player Novak Djokovic, taking viewers on a journey with former UFC fighter and combative trainer James Wilks that highlights the truth about animal protein and the impacts it has on our physical health.
Lead image courtesy of Neat Burger.