Tim Foster, co-founder of Yummy Pub Group, has said the company is repairing a strained relationship with Shepherd Neame and is keen to work with more landlords that want to invest.

Foster told yesterday’s Casual Dining Show that he was keen to grow the company alongside maximising the space in his current sites, where he predicted there was still 50% growth potential.

He said while the hands-off approach of Charles Wells, a landlord at several Yummy pubs, has been fruitful the relationship with Shepherd Neame at the Grove Ferry Inn, Kent, has not been so easy.

He said: “It’s fair to say that our relationship with Shepherd Neame has been relatively fraught at times because they know we have strong opinions and we are not going to roll over for anyone.

“But there’s been a big learning curve on both sides. They have seen how we have worked with Charles Wells who have invested in the sites and we have made them a hell of a lot more profitable. That’s the sort of relationship we want.

“I’m not interested in paying premiums but I am interested in working with partners that want to invest.

“We want to grow but we’re not going to get into the rat race of opening ten sites a year. We think we have 50% growth in our existing business alone – we did it last year, we doubled our turnover.

On plans for 2015, he said: “In London we are going head for the late night eating market. In the country we are simply going to maximise the spaces we have got. At the Wiremill we have got the best part of 300 covers on the terrace and you’re going to be able to order directly to the till. We should be going live with that next week.”