Byron opened its first London restaurant in 2007, and has since launched another 45 branches across the country (with more to come), putting it second only to GBK in the UK.
THE BEEF ‘All our beef comes from a small group of farms between Aberdeen and Inverness,’ says Fred Smith, Byron’s head of food. ‘It’s all grass-fed too – which can be quite a challenge sometimes given the Scottish weather – so it’s packed with nutrients [such as CLA, which helps you avoid fat storage and produce energy]. We use a specific blend of forequarter cuts, which tend to have a meat-to-fat ratio of around 80%-20% – we believe that provides the best flavour.’
THE MENU ‘We don’t have a huge menu,’ says Smith. ‘For us it’s all about putting a lot of focus and effort into the select things that we do offer. Aside from our beef, pretty much all of the other ingredients are sourced from British farms and have been minimally processed.’
In addition to quality, quantity is also a key part of the ethos at Byron – which doesn’t necessarily mean bigger is better. ‘If you want a tasty burger, it’s crucial to get all the portion sizes of the other ingredients right,’ says Smith. ‘We literally go around with rulers measuring the thickness of our tomato and red onion slices to ensure the balance is right. If the tomato is too thick you’ll get excess moisture soaking into the bun, while if the onion is too thick, it’ll leave an unwelcome aftertaste. That attention to detail makes all the difference.’
BEST FAT-LOSS OPTION The Skinny, a bun-free burger, served with courgette fries and a salad. BEST MUSCLEBUILDING OPTION The Smoky burger, doubled up, which means two beef patties along with smoked cheddar, streaky bacon, crispy-fried onions and Byron’s smoked chilli barbecue sauce, served with home made skin-on chips. byronhamburgers.com