Byron Hamburgers

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Byron (Famously Proper Ltd.)
TypePrivate limited company
Founded2007; 16 years ago (2007)
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Number of locations
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
Simon Wilkinson (CEO)
ParentCalveton UK Limited

Famously Proper Limited, trading as Byron, is a British restaurant chain offering a casual dining service with a focus on hamburgers. The chain was founded in 2007 by Tom Byng.[1][2] In July 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, the chain closed outlets as part of a deal transferring 21 remaining sites and 551 staff to a new owner, Calveton UK.[3]


Byron burger bar, the former Intrepid Fox, Soho, London

The burger chain is UK-based. In August 2020, it had 21 locations across the UK.[4]


The burger chain was founded in London in 2007 by Tom Byng, who developed the idea for the company while living in New York City, during which time he would regularly eat at the Silver Top Diner in Providence, Rhode Island.[5]

The chain was owned by Gondola Group, which also owns Ask and Zizzi. Gondola announced plans to sell Byron in October 2012.[6] Potential buyers included Quilvest,[1] owners of YO! Sushi. In June 2013 Gondola stated that it was abandoning plans to sell Byron, after offers failed to reach the company's estimated £100m price tag, and decided to accelerate expansion of Byron instead.[7]

In October 2013, Hutton Collins Partners finally put in the £100 million offer and the chain was sold.[8][9] In 2017 Hutton Collins sold a majority stake in Byron Hamburgers to Three Hills Capital Partners, with FPP Asset Management also becoming a new investor, while retaining a minority stake.[10]

On 29 June 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Three Hills announced it was preparing to place the 51-restaurant chain into administration, hoping to trigger a quick pre-pack sale.[11] Just over a month later, on 31 July 2020, the chain announced it was permanently closing more than half its 51 outlets, with the loss of 650 jobs, as part of a deal transferring the remaining 20 sites and 551 staff to a new owner, Calveton UK.[3]

Dark kitchens[edit]

In August 2020, Byron announced the opening of five delivery-only ghost restaurants. Pre-Covid the company's delivery channel was understood to be ahead of 10% like-for-like revenue.[12]


In July 2016, the company attracted adverse publicity after calling their London workers to a faked Health and Safety briefing following a request by the Home Office. Immigration officials present at the venue arrested several employees, deporting 35 illegal immigrants.[13][14] This led to protests outside several of their branches in London, including the release of live cockroaches and locusts at some premises and a call to boycott the chain.[15][16]

A customer suffered an anaphylactic reaction after eating grilled chicken marinaded in buttermilk at the Byron restaurant at The O2 Arena in London on 22 April 2017 and died.[17] The company's allergen procedures were shown to be in line with the FSA's existing rules and regulations and, following the inquest, the company announced that it would work with regulators to ensure that standards are improved across the industry.[18][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bow, Michael (20 May 2013). "YO! Sushi owner gets taste for Byron burgers". City A.M. Archived from the original on 3 August 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  2. ^ Mike Kelly (11 May 2015). "Newcastle city centre to get a Byron burger restaurant as plans submitted for new branch".
  3. ^ a b "Byron Burger sheds 650 jobs and closes more than half its outlets". BBC News. 31 July 2020. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  4. ^ "Our Restaurants". 24 August 2020 – via
  5. ^ "BYRON HAMBURGERS: STORY" (Press release). Archived from the original on 16 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  6. ^ Quinn, James (6 October 2012). "Byron hamburger chain up for sale". The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  7. ^ Walsh, Dominic (14 June 2013). "Gondola changes course on Byron burger sale". The Times. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Sale of Byron to Hutton Collins Partners" (PDF). Gondola Group. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  9. ^ Thomas, Nathalie (18 October 2013). "Byron burger chain sold in £100m deal". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  10. ^ "Byron Burgers owner sells majority stake in rescue deal". The Telegraph. 15 December 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  11. ^ Neate, Rupert (29 June 2020). "Byron to go into administration in attempt to sell parts of burger chain". Guardian. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  12. ^ "Byron eyes consolidation as it ramps up dark kitchens presence". 14 August 2020 – via
  13. ^ "Immigration Raid on Byron Hamburgers Rounds Up 35 Workers". The Guardian. 24 July 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Immigration arrests at Byron burger chain". 28 July 2016 – via
  15. ^ "Bugging Byron: activists release cockroaches and locusts at burger chain". The Guardian. 31 July 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  16. ^ "Protesters have thrown hundreds of cockroaches into Bryon burger restaurants". The Independent. 30 July 2016.
  17. ^ "Allergic teenager who died was misled about Byron burger – coroner". 13 September 2019 – via
  18. ^ "FSA to take allergy action after Byron burger..." The Caterer. 19 September 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Allergens". Byron Burgers. Retrieved 31 August 2020.

External links[edit]