The Restaurant Group, the Brunning & Price operator, believes there is potential to eventually grow its pub restaurant estate to over 200 sites.

In a presentation to analysts on the back of its interim results earlier this week, the group said there were excellent opportunities to grow its pub restaurant business, which currently stands at 49 sites, including 28 freeholds.

At the same time it reiterated that core brand Frankie & Benny’s could grow from 232 sites to 320-350 units, Chiquito could increase from 73 sites to over 100 and that Coast to Coast could eventually stand at 100 restaurants.

It said that payback on its better leasehold Frankie & Benny’s units was now 2.5 years or less and that the brand “is an anchor tenant”.

All this potential growth would lead the group to grow from its current size of 445 sites to over 850 units.

The company opened four pubs last year and said that trading in all of them was above its expectation.

It hopes to open four to six new pub restaurants in 2014.

The group told analyst that its pipeline of openings means that c40 units should be nailed down for each of the next three years. It said that Nando’s is competing for sites but Mitchells & Butlers has backed off from the market as have Tragus and Gondola.