Two of Germany’s leading bakery chains, Ditsch and BackWerk, have announced ambitious roll out plans for the UK. Ditsch, which has over 200 stores in Germany, plans to build its fledgling UK business to around 50 stores in the next five years, while the BackWerk-owned, self-service bakery concept Bake & Take opened its first store in the UK last month, with more in the pipeline, according to M&C Report’s sister publication British Baker. Ditsch currently has 12 stores in the UK in London, Birmingham and across the North West, plus a wholesale business supplying Waitrose with pretzels. UK managing director Raz Nehushtan told British Baker that the company is currently looking for sites of around 2,500sq ft in railway stations, shopping centres and busy high streets. "We want to grow as quickly as we can and are aiming to open three to five new stores this year in major cities in England and Wales, with a target of 50 in five years," he said. The shops sell a wide range of soft pretzels in different flavours, pizzas made with pretzel dough and sweet pastries. Meanwhile, German bakery company BackWerk, which operates over 280 stores across six European countries, has opened its first store in the UK under the Bake & Take brand. The self-service shop bakes croissants, pastries, loaves and breakfast rolls throughout the day, and also sells sandwiches and drinks. Customers use tongs to help themselves from display cabinets before paying at the till. "It is a great concept, which works well in this day and age, as time-pressed consumers are increasingly demanding fresh, affordable food and drink, without the wait," said shop owner Alexander Boll. Further franchise stores are expected to be rolled out, once the first outlet has bedded in.