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Oh hello there, roast beef fans.
You may have found this article by searching, “Is there an Arby’s in the UK?” or “Is there an Arby’s in London?” or even “Is there an Arby’s in England?”
I mean, you need to cover your bases, you know?
When I first got to London, wondering if there was an Arby’s in the UK wasn’t one of the first things on my list because to be honest, I had never really had Arby’s when I lived in America.
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But when you’re an expat in the UK, suddenly everything changes.
Things that you hadn’t craved before are suddenly the BEST FOOD in the entire world, and even though you have never been to Arby’s, you’re like, “WHY DOES THE UK FORSAKE ME WITH THEIR LACK OF ARBY’S IN THIS FOREIGN LAND?!”
Right, anyway, just to make it 100% clear, the answer to…
“Is there Arby’s in the UK or London?”
But I don’t want to get too far into Arby’s history in the UK yet (that’s coming in a minute) without giving you some helpful resources that I think you need to take advantage of before you come to the UK.
Whether you’re just visiting for a few days, studying abroad in London, or coming for a longer period of time as an expat, I’ve put together 4 of my favorite articles that will help you navigate life here.
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Firstly, no matter your reason for being here, you need the best book on living in the UK for Americans ever written – the book is called “Girl Gone London: An American’s Guide to Surviving Life in the UK” and you should click here and check it out.
I also may have written it, so I’m biased.
But truly, if you’re coming to the UK as an expat, a study abroad student, or even a visitor, my guide to life in the UK contains both personal anecdotes and maybe too-honest experiences, as well as resources and advice on topics ranging from homesickness in the UK (or how not to rage book a flight to America like I did), driving in the UK, being a student in the UK, and more practical advice about bank accounts, buying houses, and more.
It’s truly a one stop shop for all of the weirdness and wonderfulness (is that a word?) that comes along with life in the UK, and also there is plenty of opportunity to laugh at me as I share all of my expat fails so there’s that.
England is a beautiful place, and I would highly recommend you visit, but you’ll want to conquer the money system first so that you’re not standing at the cash register like an idiot.
You’ll also want to learn how to navigate the London Underground, because let me tell you, it has a mind of its own and there’s nothing worse than being accosted by a random businessman.
And of course, we need to talk about driving in England as an American, because my overall advice is: JUST SAY NO.
- Culture Shock: The Things We Don’t Talk About
- An American Girl’s Guide to Surviving the London Underground
- Understanding UK Money: Pence, Not Cents!
- Driving in England as an American: An Apology to UK Drivers
Okay, moving on the point of this article which was to help you figure out if there is an Arby’s in London or the UK.
Arby’s has over 3,000 stores in the US and is known as a fast-food sandwich restaurant chain.
In fact, in 2017, it was said that they were America’s largest sandwich chain after Subway, which is a pretty big accolade!
Arby’s does offer international locations in Canada, Turkey, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
But the UK is not on that list.
See, Arby’s did used to operate in the UK.
In 1992, they had plans to open 100 restaurants across England, including a flagship store in London and Glasgow.
Unfortunately in 1994, the London flagship store closed.
It was blamed on the location, which was in a spot where many fast food restaurants had open and closed.
The idea was that it wasn’t the Arbys brand that was failing, but instead the real estate choice.
They pressed ahead with their plans to open the 100 stores within 10 years, and a spokesperson for the chain went as far as to say that they “fill a niche that has not been tapped before.”
It’s unclear how much their roast beef sandwiches really filled a need in the UK, but they persisted for the next 10 years.
Finally, in 2001, Arbys in the UK went into liquidation and the final two restaurants located in Hampshire and Surrey were closed.
The staff were all let go, and thus ended Arbys in the UK expansion and takeover plans.
It’s pretty safe to say that Arby’s isn’t planning any new UK restaurants, considering that the most recent news on Arby’s in the UK is still that article from 2001.
A shame for American expats in London searching for Arby’s in London or Arby’s in England, but they can’t all survive!
If you’re looking for fast food in the UK similar to Arby’s, you’re going to have a bit of a difficult time as roast beef sandwiches are not nearly as much of a “thing” here, but I would highly recommend a chicken restaurant called Nando’s, and you can also find the normal McDonald’s and Burger King should you want a taste of home.
Which is tragic, but somehow we carry on.
Here’s to Arby’s coming to the UK sometime in the next 10 years and giving it another go.
We believe in you!
Read more in my full guide comparing UK and US stores and restaurants.