Interview with the Asher Grant and Laurent Manuel – Founders of EggRun
For those who have never been to EggRun, can you tell us a little bit about EggRun and what it was like to launch the business during the pandemic?
EggRun started when we, the co-founders Laurent Manuel and Asher Grant first got into a long discussion over who makes a better egg sandwich, New York or London? As each one of us is from either city to this day we still can’t agree.
Luckily, it sparked a desire to bring something new to the QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) industry with the humble egg at the forefront of every dish. Favouring organic, premium ingredients, we wanted to bring a low-priced offering to the market that could be made fresh in front of the consumers’ eyes (no more egg rolls that had been made two days before). More than anything, we wanted to create a brand that was for everyone (vegans, vegetarians and meat lovers)! Launched in the middle of a pandemic, the company first trialed its menus through a network of dark kitchens and soon opened the first store in Monument in May of this year.
There are a growing number of egg focused restaurants on the scene at the moment, what sets you apart from them?
Very true! There is an egg revolution happening at the moment similar to the Poké revolution which started five years ago. The main differences between us and the other egg revolutionaries are:
1) The ingredients we use. Only organic produce with the highest quality products (Clarence Court eggs for example).
2) Transparency. Everything is cooked fresh in front of the customer so you can see your food from the second we crack the egg to the moment it’s handed to you.
3) The mission. We work hard to keep the brand single-use plastic-free and we consider the planet with every decision we make.
4) For Everyone. The menu, the food and the brand has been curated with “everyone” in mind. Vegetarians, vegans and meat lovers.
The real difference between EggRun and other egg restaurants is that:
1) our menu is “FOR EVERYONE” Vegan, Vegetarian & Meat Lovers – our range is more extensive with vegan, veggie, meat and carb-free options.
2) We are not a dark kitchen concept like many of our competitors.
Whilst we started in a dark kitchen, this was purely due to the pandemic. Had Covid not come we would have launched with a bricks and mortar site and as soon as we could we opened our first restaurant in Monument. Transparency is key to the concept and it was paramount that our egg-loving community had brand visibility and could see we are a real company with a real story as well as see how we cook the food. Our new site has allowed us to really connect with our customers on a deeper level, realising the importance of in-person interaction.
What’s your ultimate go-to dish on the menu?
This is always a tough question because all the partners have their own favourites.
Asher Grant (co-founder) is a health freak so he loves the TacoRun – a veggie dish of scrambled eggs, feta cheese, EggRun secret sauce, caramelised onions, chives and Romaine lettuce leaves.
Laurent Manuel (co-founder) loves the EggRun – scrambled eggs, EggRun secret sauce, caramelised onions, cheddar cheese and chives in a warm brioche bun as it reminds him of New York City.
Scott Chester (Operations Director) had the idea for the TruffleRun which is a best-seller – organic 100% beef patty, fried egg, lettuce, Cheddar cheese, tomato, EggRun secret truffle sauce on a warm flour bun.
John Skotidas (Executive Chef), prefers Cup on the Run as it’s super quick and tasty and is working on new dishes on the same theme.
Are there any plans to open up any more EggRun branches?
EggRun’s community is growing and so are we as a company. We are expanding with plans to open more stores across London, the UK and internationally over the next few years. You might see a store hatch near you soon!
Best piece of advice you have been given?
Can we give you the best two pieces?
1. Rent! Focus on the rents of your QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) because that is the most important thing when you are dealing with tight food margins and huge footfall reductions because of the pandemic.
2. Build an amazing team around you. That’s the No.1 thing. If you have a hard-working, dedicated team, anything is possible.
If you had a free day in London to do whatever you want, with no limits, where would you go?
We can’t function without coffee. As such, any free day always starts with a slow walk to get a coffee from a local barista. This would need to be followed by brunch (which technically counts as work as it’s research). Then, if the weather’s good, a stroll down to the river is hard to beat. Lastly, gelato – we are suckers for good gelato and there are some incredible gelato parlours in London so we’d visit one.
Check out EggRun here: www.theeggrun.com