CrepeAffaire, the crepe franchise concept, is lining up five or six more openings this year, including Chester and Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet in Ellesmere Port, MCA has learnt.

Managing director Daniel Spinath said the three-four openings would be more London-centric, while the business would ramp up its UK expansion programme in 2018.

Meanwhile CrepeAffaire opened its first store in Saudi Arabia yesterday – the first of a deal to open 50 stores in shopping centres over an eight year deal with retail group Al Hokair.

There is also further development in Kuwait, with a delivery only hub just opened, and two more this year.

Spinath: “We had had a presence in Kuwait and decided to expand there, and Saudi Arabia is a much larger territory.

“Given consumer habits across the GCC region are relatively homogenous, we thought it would be a no brainer to expand with the right partner and right locations.

“Al Hokair own shopping malls so it gives us a great infrastructure to expand.”

In the UK, Spinath said he had simultaneous trends across the 14-strong estate, with a move to healthy eating going in tandem with a desire for sweet extravagance.

He added: “We introduced gluten free offer with buckwheat flour which has taken off big time, and is driven by a move towards healthier eating, without compromising on taste.

“The other paradoxical thing is people are getting more and more into indulgence, with a continuing move into sweet desert options.”