US Chinese chain heads across the pond


The Happy Lamb Hot Pot Company has opened its first outlet in the UK following success across the USA and Canada.

Originating in Mongolia, the operator has now set its sights on the London restaurant scene.

Happy Lamb worked with local UK distributor, Sprint Group, to launch its first UK branch.

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This project started for Sprint when sales director Ian Bryant met the Happy Lamb team back in mid-October 2018. They were very keen to learn Sprint’s vision for Happy Lamb which led to discussions about equipment specification, design and how Sprint would execute and deliver the first UK restaurant.

The distributor designed and delivered the kitchen, the bar and the meat slicing areas in the restaurant. During the process, Sprint overcame many challenges. For example, the team faced difficulties with the compressors for the coldrooms, so installed water cooled coldrooms instead.

Sprint needed to ensure they could ensure delivery of the large amounts of broth required so commissioned large 28in square stock pots to meet the task. Sprint then designed specific hot water taps to be installed above the cook-line to not only fill up the stock pots but also help top up during the cooking process.

Brands specified included Blue Seal and Retigo UK for prime cooking, True Refrigeration, Foster and Hoshizaki for refrigeration, and Classeq and Maidaid‐Halcyon for warewashing. Other suppliers involved in the project included Euro Catering Equipment, Blue Badger, Schneider, ChefQuip Bravilor, Watling, Mechline Developments, Uropa, Craven and EAIS.

In addition, the Sprint team also ensured that the necessary wok cooker was specifically made to meet the requirements of the restaurant.

Other challenges overcome included working at the busy location, in the heart of Bloomsbury, London. The restaurant is at the center of Bloomsbury amongst busy offices and the team worked alongside the Happy Lamb team, adhering to strict guidelines regarding delivery times and small windows of time when noise restrictions weren’t so heavy. Working closely together, careful planning and team work is said to have allowed each task to be achieved.

Bryant said: “During this whole process with this being the first UK restaurant there were various discussions and changes of design and equipment, all of which we have been able to accommodate. We all feel the final product is outstanding.”

Maggie Otto, executive director, Happy Lamb, commented: “It’s been a pleasure working with Sprint Group and in particular their attention to details with customization of our appliances – we’re looking forward to working with the team again.”

Tags : dealerdistributorhappy lambkitchenprojectrestaurant
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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