Lifestyle Hospitality Group (LHG) has announced a major expansion drive in India, with plans for “upwards of 150” sites to be opened in the country under its Tiger Bills restaurant concept over the next three and a half years, M&C Report has learnt.

LHG has signed a pan-India master franchise agreement with Shristi Hotels, one of the country’s largest hotels groups. Managing director James Eyre told M&C Report: ”We have a specific five-year development plan in place which will involve five restaurants being opened in first 18 months to get the concept localised and then a pan-India roll out during the next three and a half years, which should see upwards of 150 restaurants being opened.”

Eyre stressed the importance of different local markets in India and highlighted the benefits of the country for the rollout, including the fact its population numbers than one billion, with a growing youth population and increasing middle class.

It comes as the group looks for further expansion opportunities overseas. Eyre said: “We are taking expansion overseas seriously and have experienced international franchise teams who have created a strong support structure partnering high calibre international hospitality organisations in Singapore, Africa, Japan, India and Dubai.

“We hoped the ‘East meets West’ neighbourhood dining concept appeals to a broad demographic in the UK, and even in the Far East because of the appeal of the marriage of Thai cuisine with the western grill; however we have been greatly encouraged by the interest we have received from potential franchise partners across the globe.”

He said the deal with Shristi Hotels “marks a major milestone in the evolution of the Tiger Bills brand and illustrates that it truly can become a global entity”.

In January, M&C reported that LHG had signed a master franchise agreement with a multiple franchisee to rollout Tiger Bills across Greater London. It plans to open nine sites across the city over the next three years.

The next UK opening is set to be in Worcester. In December a territory franchisee based in Consett, County Durham, opened the first of 10 planned units in Whitley Bay.

The first Tiger Bills launched in Exeter in 2006. Currently seven outlets operate under the format.