LEON appoints new Operations Director to drive UK regional expansion

Former Costa Coffee Head of Global Retail Excellence Steve Armstrong will lead the UK food-to-go and coffee chain’s next phase of growth, which includes further expansion outside of London and an enhanced self-serve kiosk footprint

LEON currently operates 80 stores in the UK and is planning to reach 100 this quarter | Photo credit: LEON


UK-based LEON has appointed Steve Armstrong as its new Operations Director as the company seeks further regional growth in the UK outside of London. 

Armstrong previously served as Head of Global Retail Excellence at UK coffee chain Costa Coffee before joining LEON. He also worked for US fast-food chain McDonald’s for 29 years in various senior roles, including European Operations Development Manager and Director of Global Operations. 

Armstrong replaces Russell Simpson who left the company in December 2022 having served as Operations Director since June 2020, helping lead LEON’s UK operations during pandemic. 

In February 2023, the EG Group-managed food-to-go and coffee chain opened its first store in Wales at the Roadchef Magor motorway service station in Newport. 

LEON, which currently operates 80 stores in the UK, is planning to reach 100 outlets in the first quarter of 2023, with parent company EG Group previously outlining its goal to open around 20 stores every year.  

“It’s really important for us to make our restaurants accessible to people up and down the UK. We’re delighted Roadchef is opening not only our first LEON in Wales, but the first outlet outside of England in the UK, a very exciting milestone for our brand,” said Glenn Edwards, Managing Director, LEON. 

The Welsh site follows new LEON stores in Harrogate and Milton Keynes last year and the debut of its new drive-thru format outlet in Leeds at the end of 2021.   

Alongside retail store expansion in the UK, LEON also launched its own branded self-serve coffee kiosks in 68 EG-operated petrol forecourts across the UK in July 2022. 

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