Egg mimosas with crab and salmon ceviche as a starter. Sole meunière or prawns skewer as the main course. The card put in place at the reopening of the terraces on Wednesday, May 19, is responsible for giving a different perspective on Léon, the new name given by Léon de Bruxelles in order to convey the evolutions of the brand passed in 2019 in the fold. of Groupe Bertrand, the number two restaurant company in France.
Of course, there is no shortage of mussel casseroles with fries. Seven recipes are on the program, against nine previously. But on the map, in the disposable Covid version, they represent proposals like the others. Needless to say, aficionados already know them. And if diners are still hungry, waffles are always available for dessert.
Farewell to Belgian references
After six and a half months of total closure of the sign, without recourse to home delivery or to the clique and collection, Léon, now with the subtitle “Fish Brasserie”, has resumed service in 75% of its 80 establishments. , but only 40% in Paris for lack of sufficient terraces. The others are waiting for the return of service in the dining room.
“It is a question, through the evolution of the offer and of the identity, of breaking with ‘Belgitude’ so that customers perceive the transformation into a restaurant of seafood for all. They should no longer lock us into the sole register of mussels and fries ”, underlines Philippe Héry, appointed to the general management of the brand last November and also general manager of Hippopotamus. He had participated in the takeover project of the brand which, in 2019, posted a turnover of 127.8 million euros and had received more than 6 million guests.
After the Aéroville restaurant last summer, two additional establishments, one in Chambray-lès-Tours in Indre-et-Loire – the first which had opened outside Ile-de-France in 1998 -, the another in Servon in Seine-et-Marne, display, for the reopening, the entire new identity of the chain. With an iodized atmosphere given by decorations including beacons or wooden fishing traps and sea-green roofs, more evocative of the sea than the historic color.
The others will gradually switch to the new decoration at the rate of 10 to 15 renovations per year. In the meantime, the revisited menu, the waiters’ aprons and the renewed table services are responsible for showing the new tone in all the restaurants. “The presentation of the dishes is all the more important as the meals are now very photographed”, remarks Philippe Héry.
Convince the youngest
The brand’s objective is to win back a family clientele and to convince younger audiences. “The brand is well known, intergenerational but it must regain consideration. To stay in its time, a brand must invest. We hope that the repositioning will bring an increase in traffic and stop the losses of cutlery experienced by the network in recent years ”, indicates the leader. It aims for organic growth of 4 to 5% per year.
The prices remain broadly equivalent. But the strategy of permanent promotion through advertising coupons was brought to a halt. The network relies more on loyalty through Club Léon. On the delivery side, the goal is to reach 10% of turnover against 4% previously.
In 2022, around ten new establishments should see the light of day, relaunching external growth. At the same time, the brand wants to go from a branch, which it is today at 90%, to franchisor by retaining only a third of its own restaurants. It relies in particular on the multi-brand franchise strategy put in place by Groupe Bertrand just before the pandemic.
It now remains to publicize the transformation of the brand. The period does not economically lend itself to major communication campaigns. But the new generation Leon is investing in social networks. And play the card of iodized and offbeat speech.