Benito’s Hat, the Calculus-backed Mexican concept, is to ramp up its expansion plans with the launch of a smaller, A1-focused concept.

The Michael Pearson-led Group has been trialling a smaller format at Oxford Westgate but will open an evolved version on the former Mission Burrito site in Leicester’s Highcross scheme at the start of next month.

The seven-strong group is in talks with franchisees regarding rolling out this new model both in the UK and internationally.

It hopes to open a further two sites this year and double the size of its estate within 18 months.

The group is set to exit its site at King’s Cross later this summer as Network Rail looks to refresh its offer on the balcony area of the station. However, it is in talks with Network Rail regarding opportunities for its new A1 concept at other stations.

It is also looking to expand the concept into other transport hubs.

The group is not stopping the expansion of its A3 model and is understood to be currently in talks on a further restaurant site outside London.