Harden's survey result
“Still my favourite burger”, proclaim loyalists of the brand that launched the contemporary vogue for upmarket burgers – although the original 2001 branch in Battersea’s Nappy Valley is now gone, a victim of cost-cutting in recent years. Birmingham’s ‘chicken king’ Ranjit Boparan bought the chain out of administration in 2020, with the closure of almost half its 60-odd outlets. Judging by the limited but positive feedback this year, he appears to have brought an upward trend to the surviving 35 branches plus eight delivery-only kitchens.
“Quality burgers at a great price point” make the capital’s original posh burger chain “a family favourite” for many fans – “the kids always want to go back”. Founded 22 years ago in Battersea’s ‘Nappy Valley’ by a bunch of Kiwis, the group expanded rapidly and changed hands three times before hitting the buffers. Its fortunes appear to have stabilised since Birmingham-based ‘chicken king’ Ranjit Boparan bought it out of administration in 2020, although the 60-odd branches have been whittled down to 37 – half of them in London.
“Many, many times GBK provided me with happiness in the last 12 months” – strong support from regulars and continued high ratings suggest London’s original posh burger chain is a brand worth saving, despite its recent travails. In late 2020 it was bought out of administration by Midlands chicken tycoon Ranjit Boparan in a deal that saw the closure of 26 of its 61 branches. Launched 21 years ago in Clapham’s Northcote Road by a group of Kiwis including chef Peter Gordon, its “simple and basic – but perfect – burgers” were a massive hit, and the chain was valued at £120m by 2016.
“Hitting the spot when nothing but a burger will do”, say devotees of the original upmarket burger chain that started with a single outlet in 2001. Losses of £4.6million in 2018 led to the closure of 24 sites around the country, but the number of reporters complaining of “generally indifferent” meals was still relatively minor compared to those who still saw it as “a safe bet for the kids” or “sensibly priced and reliable, suggesting it was a franchise worth saving. That’s exactly what tycoon Ranjit Boparan did in September 2020 when a further pandemic-related restructuring saw a further 26 restaurants shuttered, leaving 35 in operation.
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).
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