Restaurant Icon John Vincent to Bring LEON Restaurants to the US, Challenging the Fast Food Status Quo

LEON Announces Washington, DC as Its US Launch Market

LEON Carnaby St., London (Photo: Business Wire)

WASHINGTON--()--LEON, the pioneer of Naturally Fast Food, today announced it will launch its first U.S. location in Washington, D.C. late this summer. This move from co-founder and CEO John Vincent signifies his intention to introduce a new category of fast food to America and invite people to fall in love with fast food again.

LEON, named after Vincent’s father, was created to make fast food better by offering Naturally Fast Food that tastes good and does you good. The LEON menu features dishes that draw on the richness, flavors and natural goodness of the Mediterranean food culture.

“Since starting LEON in London’s Carnaby Street in 2004, we have been helping people fall back in love with fast food,” said Vincent. “From the start, we asked ourselves ‘why can’t fast food be good food?’ LEON is our best attempt at creating fast food as it might be in heaven. Food that tastes naturally great, is remarkably good for you, is affordable for all, and is kind to the planet.”

LEON’s determination to create fast food that is kind to the planet has been recently focused in three areas – moving to 100% renewable energy, significantly increasing the number of plant-based dishes, and proactively removing all plastic straws and cutlery. Those focuses will be carried into the U.S. in the Washington, D.C., location as well.

“D.C. is a wonderful city and I can’t wait to begin our American adventure here,” said Vincent. “We chose D.C. as our entry point into the U.S. market because of its culturally creative mindset, pedestrian-friendly landscape and foodie-lifestyle. Choosing the first American city is like trying to choose from your favorite box of chocolates. After D.C., we are looking forward to opening in other cities that have a similar culture of dynamism, positivity and possibility.”

LEON is another example of the relentless passion to ‘make things better’ that has marked Vincent’s professional journey. That passion is inherent in Leon’s mission, which is to make it easier for everyone to eat and live well following the proven principles of the Mediterranean diet, finding goodness and flavor in olive oil, fresh herbs, good meats and a wide array of plants.

Vincent’s history is characterized by innovative solutions, corporate transformations and successful turnarounds for companies like cosmetics brand Max Factor, a turnaround led by Vincent during his time at Procter & Gamble. He led a number of company restructuring projects while at Bain and Company and was instrumental in the dramatic turnaround and sale of spirits business Whyte & Mackay. In addition to his work in the private sector, he has earned a reputation in public service by helping reform food in U.K. schools by co-writing the School Food Plan that helped improve the diet of the five million students served daily in 22,000 schools in England.

D.C. represents the fourth international city for the U.K.-based restaurant concept. LEON made its debut in London in 2004 and has grown to more than 50 restaurants with locations in Oslo, Amsterdam and Utrecht with plans to grow in other cities across Europe. For more information about Leon Restaurants, please visit

About LEON Restaurants

LEON was founded in 2004 with the mission to ‘make it easier for everyone to eat and live well.’ The company has 52 locations in the U.K., Norway, and the Netherlands. LEON is led by co-founder and CEO John Vincent and is backed by two principal investors including Brazil-based GP Investments, a leading global private equity fund, and London-based, Active Private Equity. In 2017, GP Investments’ subsidiary, Spice Private Equity invested in LEON to fund its growth in Europe and the US.

LEON has been an award-winning brand from the start, earning recognition as Best Newcomer in 2005 and a steady stream of accolades since, including Best Quick Service Restaurant. LEON was named Raymond Blanc Sustainability Hero in 2017 and is the recipient of the People Award for Employee Engagement, the Responsible Capitalism Award, and was given the award for Best Company in addition to its other credits. More information can be found by visiting


Coltrin & Associates
Jennifer Webb, 212-221-1616


Coltrin & Associates
Jennifer Webb, 212-221-1616