Virtual Hero, a Hero Brands-owned venture, is on track to reaching 200 locations by the end of the year with its Sides brand. The delivery franchisor has teamed up with Youtube supergroup, The Sidemen, to create a fried chicken brand called ‘Sides’, which is already present in the U.K. and Middle East. The Sides brand itself is on course to the 200 sides, with plans to establish 50 in the U.K., and 40 across the U.S. before the end of the year.
“I am thrilled to announce that not only are we on track for our strong growth strategy in the UK after a great opening year but that we are also launching a rapid expansion project in the US,” said Robin Mehta, CEO of Virtual Hero.
The Sides brand was developed in collaboration with The Sidemen, Virtual Hero and REEF, a virtual restaurant operator. The brand already has some locations across the U.K., in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Southampton. It launched its first physical location in BOXPARK Wembley in February. The number of locations is set to increase as the brand goes delivery-only by the end of the year.
The brand will also strategically construct locations across the U.S. to support delivery in Atlanta, San Diego, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Washington, Portland, Memphis, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Detroit. The brand is hoping to be operational by July in the U.S.
“At Virtual Hero we are responding to emerging consumer trends in this fast-growing market and building the virtual brands of the future,” said Robin Mehta, CEO of Virtual Hero.
“Our sustained growth in the UK displays the demand for delivery only fast-casual food still exists post-pandemic and our business model allows us to quickly respond to this call across the nation.
“To close the year with 50 sites in the UK shows how far the brand has grown in its first year and is a testament to the popularity of the Sidemen.
“The Sidemen are representative of exciting and relevant British talent being at the forefront of new trends and the expansion of Sides shows that this collaborative concept not only works but thrives.
“I am also thrilled to expand Virtual Hero into the US and tap into a huge market as we continue to innovate in the dark kitchen space in partnership with REEF.”