Chef Express UK is eyeing opportunities in universities as it seeks to expand its presence in the UK, M&C Report understands.

The operator opened its 14th Bagel Factory at Clapham Junction and will open the next at Marylebone by Easter.

But David Cheeseman, director of Chef Express UK, told M&C Report that he would need to look beyond transport hubs to meet growth targets of three or four new sites a year.

He said: “We are looking to expand into health and education. The offer is popular with young people so we think universities could work well for us. It’s also a healthy offer, and will be even more so once we get the gluten-free variant so it’s something that health services would be ok with.

“We have been working on it for a while but it’s about bringing it to fruition.”

He said trading had been strong across the estate in the last quarter and that the Clapham site was already in profit and benefitting from good footfall.

He said he was still looking for a first site for the Moka coffee house format the group’s owner Gruppo Cremonini wants to bring across from Italy.