Second Cup, the Canadian coffee shop-meets-casual-dining chain that operates more than 600 sites globally, is to open its first UK outlets and is targeting at least 300 British stores over the next five years, M&C Report has learnt.

A spokesman for the company, which operates in 22 countries, told M&C Report: “We’ve signed up three groups of franchisees: a central London group, a Greater London group, and we’ve also signed a Manchester group.”

They have agreed to open five stores each over the next four years, he said. “That represents 15 sites over the next four years but that’s just the starting point.

“In the meantime we are talking to a whole number of people as well. Birmingham is another cluster we’re looking at, and Glasgow. By the end of next year we will have the first sites open.”

Asked how many could open in the UK, he said: “Second Cup is looking at probably 300 sites over the next five years. It can be a lot more than that.”

Second Cup is working with World Franchise Associates to take the brand into the UK.

The spokesman said Second Cup, which has build up to a global business over 30 years, offers a “coffee/casual dining experience”, combining a ‘grab and go’ seating area with a more comfortable section for sitting in.

“There are different areas in the store that will appeal to different groups of people,” he said.

Coffees from across the world will be offered and the food menu will include salads, sandwiches and paninis as well as bagels and soups. There will be a full patisserie range, in a nod to its French Canadian origins.

Regarding the UK launch, the spokesman added: “We want to do it right. We are not necessarily challenging the Costas and Starbucks of this world. We think their coffee offer is good but people like Eat and Pret have a very strong presence. We want to mix the food and coffee element together.”