London Designer Outlet bucks national casual dining trend

London Designer Outlet. Photo by Chris Winter.

Big Moe’s Diner, the 1950s’ style American dining experience, has chosen London Designer Outlet (LDO) in Wembley Park, the capital’s leading fashion and lifestyle outlet centre, as the place to open its second London restaurant. The new diner will be opposite both handmade burger Co., which has extended its lease by a further five years, and the recently opened JRC Global Buffet. In what will be its first store, Greek style bakery and patisserie, Opa, has also signed to join the line up.

Whilst the wider UK casual dining market is going through a challenging period, LDO is bucking the trend. Nationally, the sector is experiencing a fall in like-for-like sales growth and an increase in restaurant closures. The new signings at LDO reflect operators’ confidence in the scheme, its proven track record of success and its location within the wider Wembley Park, currently undergoing a £3 billion regeneration. This is evidenced by the number of existing tenants making improvements to their units, and LDO’s 18 consecutive quarters of sales growth.

The new signings follow up a full refurbishment by Prezzo and the recent opening of JRC Global Buffet. Overlooking the iconic Wembley Stadium, Prezzo boasts improved lighting, a fresh fit-out and an increase in the number of covers by 30%. The 14,125 sq ft JRC Global Buffet is also new to Wembley and, equipped with live cooking stations, offers a selection of 12 cuisines from around the world for a fixed price including unlimited soft drinks. Opa’s first bakery will offer a selection of sweet and savoury food, including pastries baked onsite daily and served alongside its own speciality coffee.

Big Moe’s Diner at LDO will be the operator’s third restaurant, extending the brand from locations in Essex and East London. It will serve a variety of classic-American dishes from breakfast pancakes to burgers and giant sodas, plus New York style cro-dough or croissant-doughnut, chocolate bar milkshakes and giant waffles.

Aqib Hanif, Director at Big Moe’s Diner, said: “Customers will be thrilled that we’re expanding our brand into more of London. LDO at Wembley Park is the ideal location for our next restaurant. Big Moe’s Diner will appeal to shoppers between enjoying the outlet savings at LDO and to visitors to the wider Wembley Park, London’s newest creative district. The footfall is strong, and we look forward to serving customers from around the world that visit the area.”

LDO is London’s original outlet centre. It has a proven track record of continuous sales growth since it opened in October 2013. LDO is one of a small number of ‘new wave’ outlet centres that blend retail, f&b, leisure and residential within an urban setting. Reflecting the diversity of guests, LDO has embraced several cultural initiatives, from fluent foreign language speakers in Guest Relations to Halal and vegetarian dining options in LDO’s many restaurants and coffee shops. They include Nando’s, PizzaExpress, wagamama, Zizzi, Cabana and Las Iguanas. Visitors benefit from LDO’s unsurpassed access by Tube, train, bus and car. Located less than 15 minutes from central London, it is easily reached by three underground Tube lines, two overground train lines, eight bus routes as well as offering plenty of onsite car parking.

Christine Grace, Realm’s Leasing Director for LDO, said: “We have a fantastic line-up of 22 restaurants, bars and coffee shops, each offering something different to appeal to our guests. We’re delighted that Opa and Big Moe’s Diner have chosen LDO for their first and second sites in London respectively, and that handmade burger Co. has renewed its lease. These announcements show how we’re bucking the trend with casual dining. We’re always looking for ways to improve the experience for visitors to LDO and the additional covers at Prezzo and new menus recently launched at Frankie & Benny’s and Cabana will further add to the appealing experience that the centre provides.”

LDO is managed by Realm, the UK’s specialist outlet operators, and is owned by Quintain, the developer transforming Wembley Park.