EAT, the Lyceum Capital backed group, is looking to roll out concessions at hospitals and universities as part of franchise agreement with the Compass Group.

The EAT partnership will initially be activated at two Debenhams’ stores in Basingstoke and Portsmouth, with a view to rolling this out across more Debenhams’ shops over the next few years.

The opportunity for EAT to expand into hospitals and universities within the Compass client base would follow in the footsteps of Pret, who already have a presence in universities and hospitals, and Subway UK, which has expressed a desire to move into these spaces.

Andrew Walker, chief executive of EAT, said: “It feels really good to be launching a new exclusive franchise partnership with Compass to operate EAT stores inside Debenhams and potentially in the future expanding to hospitals and universities within the Compass client base.

“We hope this is the start of a long and fruitful partnership. This is a great opportunity for EAT to work alongside other leading brands and to reach a wider audience. The first of these opportunities is within Debenhams, and we look forward to sharing our great-tasting, good mood food with Debenhams’ shoppers!”

Louise Pilkington, marketing director, Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “Our insights tell us food-to-go is what our customers increasingly look for, but they’re not prepared to compromise on taste and quality, so we’re confident working with EAT is giving our consumers more of what they want.”

Debenhams serves 19m customers across 175 UK and Ireland department stores every year.

The EAT concessions will serve hot pies, wok pots and soups, and cold grab-and-go offers such as sandwiches, salads, cakes and pastries, seasonal specials, and coffee, frappes and tea.

Compass’ recent Eating Out of Home survey estimates that the grab-and-go market is worth £20.1bn in the UK.