U.K.-based Neat Burger arrives in New York City with backing from Leonardo DiCaprio

This plant-based chain is positioning as the less-processed alternative protein


Lisa Jennings, Nation's Restaurant News 

May 09, 2022


With celebrity backing and plans to disrupt the already disrupted world of plant-based proteins, U.K.-based Neat Food Co. has arrived in New York City to plot rapid growth across the U.S.


If old fashioned veggie burgers were the first generation of the plant-based movement, the arrival of the truly meat-like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat was the 2.0 version. Now Neat Burger — as the restaurant concept is named — aims to bring a 3.0 iteration, said Tommaso Chiabra, co-founder and chair of Neat Food Co., which operates 11 fast-casual restaurants in the U.K.


The first U.S. location of Neat Burger opened as a popup in Manhattan in April, and at least three brick-and-mortar units are scheduled to open there this year, with another 10 to 15 outlets operating out of ghost kitchens for delivery or pickup only. Globally, the company is gunning to reach 42 units by the end of the year, 436 by the end of 2026 and 1,000 by 2030, primarily company owned.


The company has launched a Series B fundraise primarily with U.S. investors following a $70 million funding round last year led by SoftBank’s Rajeev Misra. Strategic investors include actor/environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio and race car driver Lewis Hamilton, who both serve as ambassadors to raise brand awareness...