Five Guys, the popular US burger chain, is implementing a new pay structure from today, which will pay all team members a wage beginning at £7.20 per hour with incremental pay raises to reflect experience.

Speaking at the M&C Allegra Foodservice’s Restaurant Conference UK managing director John Eckbert said team members will be encouraged to complete front and back of house training to move up to the next pay bracket in increments of 20p until they have completed six stages and can be considered for shift leader positions.

Eckbert said: “We want all staff to earn £8.50 as soon as possible.” This can be done by becoming certified on all stages of the kitchen and service areas.

As well as basic pay, staff will from today be entitled to a meal for every shift, paid breaks, pension contribution and secret shopper bonus, which Eckbert said will raise basic pay to up to £12.27 an hour.

The company, which is set to pass the 40 unit mark by the end of the year, has seen like for like sales increase by 10% in UK stores that have been open more than 12 months.

It has a pipeline of 10 UK sites to open before the end of 2015 and is expecting to add 25-30 units next year.

Eckbert said there is potential to open “a couple of hundred” Five Guys in the UK and is looking to add its first sites in Paris in spring 2016, followed by Spain and Germany.

Eckbert siad: “We are a humble brand; we have big ambition but we want to do it in response to demand.”

As part of its 2015 UK pipeline the company will double its presence in Cardiff, with an opening in the Red Dragon Centre, and in Sheffield, at Meadowhall followed by at opening in the city’s Valley Centertainment scheme.

The group has also secured its first site in Liverpool in Queens Square. It had previously missed out to TGI Friday’s for the Pesto site in Liverpool One.

The company will open in Putney on 5 October and plans to launch in Cheapside in Leicester; the Castle Quarter in Swansea and the Overgate scheme in Dundee this autumn.

A further opening has been secured in the Whiteley scheme in Fareham.