Ignite Group founder Matt Hermer has told M&C Allegra that he in talks with “one quite well-known operator” to help roll out Bumpkin, the company’s four-strong restaurant concept.

Hermer said that he hoped to open a further site under the concept in the first half of next year and that it had been too tall an order to grow the business without the support of a solid senior management team.

As well as the potential roll out of Bumpkin, Hermer said he had a site for a spin-off of the brand, which will involve cooking on charcoal. If it is successful, he said it could be the next step for the whole brand’s development.

The search for a replacement to former Bumpkin managing director Tina English is continuing, but Hermer is confident things will fall into place on this, and that he will find both a “killer food person, probably across Ignite” and another senior recruit to help with the roll out, in the next few monthsHermer concedes the business has got through a larger than average number of senior executives and agrees his expectations may have been too high sometimes, but he is unapologetic.

“Everyone [consumers] is much too discerning now, so my expectations need to be high. Also, it is something I am so passionate about,” he said.

The first Bumpkin sub-brand, Kitchen, Bar and Grill, the all-day format operating at Westfield, took a couple of years to get right, he said, but he is proud of it and believes it is ideal for a British high street roll out.

Having said that, Herner said he is not prepared to compete with the “crazy property prices” being paid at the moment and would rather work with the landlords he has history with and who therefore understand the value of having his operations in their sites.