Island Poke has secured a cash injection from hospitality investor Hero Brands in order to help accelerate its expansion plans, the Press Association has reported.

The White Rabbit Fund-backed Hawaiian poke chain has said it plans to use the “substantial” investment to open at least five more sites by the end of the year.

The business has continued to expand during the pandemic – doubling in size to 17 sites over the past year, including franchise sites in France, and is looking to expand further once restrictions are lifted, with plans for a further 40 sites over the next five years in the country.

The business has also opened four dark kitchens in the UK.

Hero Brands operates the global master franchise for German Doner Kebab, and is looking to boost Island Poke’s presence in the UK and internationally. According to the Press Association, the growth strategy will be led by former Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group international executive, Nick Schapira.

Island Poke founder James Gould-Porter said: “We’re so excited to be bringing Hero Brands on board and the experience that they’ll bring to the table.

“We’ve been working closely together and feel that our businesses are a great fit for each other.

“We’ve seen what they’ve done with other concepts within their portfolio and look forward to growing together.”