William and Anne Chow, the husband and wife team behind the highly-regarded Banana Tree brand, believe the concept is strong enough to grow to between 30 and 50 sites in the UK, M&C Report has learnt.

The company is in discussions for potential sites in Cambridge, Bath and Bristol.

Average weekly turnover across existing eight-strong estate varies from around £20,000 to £45,000.

The Chows have decided they do not need the added pressures that private equity firms could bring at this stage, although they say they will definitely reconsider when it comes to the following phase.

The recent appointment of a new operations director, Scott Bradley, previously of PizzaExpress plus £2m of funding from NatWest will see them through the next phase of growth, adding five to six sites in the next couple of years.

The group’s site Oxford is now due to open next summer, a little later than initially proposed due to the difficulties of having the university as landlord.

The company secured the 2,500sq ft former Jessops unit in the city’s George Street at the start of last month.