Harden's survey result
Now down to a dozen outlets nationally and just four in London from its 2018 peak of 67, this early ‘better burger’ chain has dropped ratings across the board this year. But, compared to other chains, feedback is far from rock-bottom – indeed complaints are notably absent – so perhaps there are still some legs in the brand?
Back from the brink? After a tumultuous couple of years, a CVA, sale, the closure of over half its branches, and new CEO, ratings have steadied at this well-known burger chain. It may only be “standard burger fayre”, but most reports say it “ticks so many boxes”.
The jury is still out on whether this once-trailblazing posh burger chain deserves to be saved, and indeed whether saving it is feasible. Having undergone a CVA in 2018, in June 2020 the chain brought in the administrators, who sold the brand to new owners Calveton. In the process, it lost 31 restaurants and 651 workers, leaving only 20 of Byron’s 51 branches open. In May 2021, it opened its first new branch in five years on the Wembley retail park and soon after announced a new CEO. Meanwhile our reporters are in two minds about the whole situation. Even fans can find it “formulaic” although they feel “it’s everything you need from a burger joint without trying too hard”. Critics, though, find “there’s not much to commend” in its current performance: “dreadful”.
This once-market-leading burger chain lost nearly 1/3 of its branches in 2018 and another 31 went in July 2020 leaving this familiar name just 20 sites? But despite plummeting ratings in the last survey it maintained a big following who wanted to see management succeed: the “formula may need a bit of refreshment”, they said, but “it’s a brand that does not deserve to be sneered at!” Perhaps looking forwards, post pandemic, the only way is up?
For 33 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).