It’s been 12 years since Byron, the NYC-inspired burger chain, launched in the UK. And it’s certainly not been plain sailing.
Last year, the company closed almost a third of its restaurants as part of a complicated rescue and restructuring process following sustained sales drops throughout 2017. A repositioning has followed, with Byron this month launching their new menu and design in their flagship outlet in High Street Kensington.
At the core of the launch is a revamped menu, created by new food and drink director Sophie Michell, with the addition of a dedicated brunch offering that takes inspiration from the West Coast of America arguably the standout feature.
The concept of brunch may not be new, but it is certainly current. There’s been a notable rise in interest in the mealtime over the past two years, with a recent survey from Streetbees finding that 49% of people are eating more brunch than a year ago.
The Streetbees survey also found that bread/toast/rolls were the top breakfast category – good news for Byron, which has a butties duo leading the way in their new brunch menu.
The first, the Byron Buttie, has thick cut bacon, a Cumberland patty, fried egg, cheddar cheese and bloody mary ketchup, while their veggie buttie contains grilled halloumi, roasted mushrooms, smoked ketchup and avocado.
Byron have taken the idea of permissible indulgence and really run with it with their tres leches French toast with coconut crème, lime curd and salted caramel sauce.
In line with the growing South American brunch presence, Byron have a breakfast tostada: a corn tortilla with feta, corn and black bean salsa, smashed avocado, fried egg, chilli and coriander
Chicken and waffles with a cornflake-coated buttermilk-fried chicken breast complete Michell’s new menu.
A dedicated kids brunch menu, meanwhile, features mini bacon, sausage, and egg and cheese butties, as well as mini French toast and mini waffles.
The return of the Byron
Along with the new brunch offering, Michell has also revamped Byron’s signature burger, unleashing The New Byron – a classic beef patty with bacon, ‘Byron cheese,’ lettuce, tomato, red onion, Byron sauce and house-made pickles. Skin-on fries are also back with a new secret seasoning.
Blue cheese, which has been steadily growing in popularity over the past three years thanks to the rise of the more adventurous consumer, makes an appearance on Le Bleu, a beef patty smothered with Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese, topped with red onion and port jam, wholegrain mustard, spinach and grilled onions.
With healthier eating options becoming more important as we move into 2020, Byron have added a superfood grain salad with lentils, quinoa, roast squash, beetroot, pomegranate, spinach, seeds and a house dressing.
And to finish it all off, the idea of ‘permissible indulgence’ – a buzzy term in 2019 and included in Mondelez’ snacking trends report – is present in the classic American vanilla chess pie, served with bourbon caramel sauce.