Handmade Burger Co to reopen in Lincoln’s Brayford after former worker agrees to take it on
Handmade Burger Co’s Lincoln location will reopen after the lockdown as part of the restaurant chain’s revitalization plans.
The mark was saved by a former Worker who will be bringing back a number of the company’s branches across the country, including Lincoln.
After the collapse in January 2020, 19 branches and more than 280 jobs disappeared overnight. All thoughts of a resurrection for the company seemed to be gone when the pandemic broke out shortly thereafter.
However, later that year, the previous location at Brayford Wharf will reopen. A fixed date has not yet been set, but the end of May, towards June, is the original goal.
The Aspirational Brands business vehicle is driving the restart, led by Adam Howitt, one of the new owners.
Adam was originally a restaurant manager for the company before moving into administration for the first time. Now he’s reviving the brand, and a handful of restaurants across the country are opening this year.
(Image: Luke Thornton)
He said, “I’ve previously run restaurants in Hull, Wakefield and Sheffield for them so I know the brand inside out, so Handmade Burger Co has always been something I’ve always loved.
“The admins would only get one deal for the whole group and unfortunately some sites were not profitable, so we are taking over some of the historically profitable sites even though some had previously underperformed.
“The original owners had a great concept, strong product, and ethos around fresh food. They expanded too quickly and the business’s cash flow suffered.
“The second owner (after the original management) was a gracious gentleman as far as I can tell, but in my opinion he ripped out the identity. It wasn’t like it used to be.
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“They then cut the portion sizes in half and went from making the burgers by hand on site to buying the patties.
“I was always surprised at how many repeat customers we had – it had a really good following, even in a mall in Meadowhall. So the potential is there.”
Adam later opened his own hotel consultancy based in Sheffield, serving businesses from Glasgow to Southampton.
He believes the strong identity of the business will allow the reopened restaurants – including Lincoln – to thrive once the covid restrictions are relaxed.
He added, “The plan is for us to get it back to its roots. Bring the business back to what it did best, but with a current twist.
“We’re not just going to copy old menus, but we’re going to bring it back to the fresh food element, handcraft everything on site from scratch, and hopefully regain a sense of pride in what we serve.”
“Some additional elements are being brought in so we can take care of all of them.
“We are not yet able to set any fixed dates, be it that the sites are to go into operation towards the end of May or beginning of June.
“We need to consider if additional maintenance needs to be done. Once the site has been assessed by contractors, we should be able to confirm a reopening day.
“We have a lot to do and it is not without risks, but I am confident that the industry will recover.”
Once the lockdown is eased according to the government roadmap, restaurants will be able to greet customers again.
In addition to Lincoln, other restaurants are expected to reopen across the country, including Sheffield’s Meadowhall, Solihull, Reading and London. Another two should come to the capital soon.
The site originally closed in January 2020, despite administrators saying “significant efforts” were made to secure a sale.