Humpit Hummus, the Venturian-backed concept, looks set to double the size of its seven-strong estate this year as it lines up new locations in Manchester, the Midlands and the south coast, MCA has learnt.

The business opened its seventh site – its first private franchise location – in Huddersfield, this week, at 32 Queen Street, and is looking to expand its franchise operation in the UK this year. It is also in talks to take the concept overseas, Simon Phillips, operations director, Humpit Hummus, told MCA.

“We are just about to sign a private franchise agreement with a family who are looking to open a number of sites in the Midlands. The plan is to open the first one and then a further two within 18 months” he said.

“We are also looking at another franchise location on the south coast and are in legals on a site there at the moment,” he added. “That would be the first Humpit branch in the south.”

In addition to its franchise operation the business is also planning to expand its footprint of company-owned sites and is in legals on a 1,000 sq ft site in Manchester city centre, in a business district location, he said.

Phillips said its growth in Manchester would be done through company-owned sites, as it was reasonably close to its Leeds base, and that it was also looking to target London next year, with other major cities such as Liverpool, as well as Scotland, on the priority list.

“I think the first London site would be company-owned, but potentially after we have opened a couple in London it might be that we franchise a few as well,” he added.

Humpit will also be opening a site at the Manchester University at the beginning of September, which will come under the umbrella of its master franchise agreement with the National Union of Students (NUS), although Phillips said the negotiations had been taking place before the deal was signed with the NUS towards the end of last year.

Humpit Hummus opened its first site through the agreement at Edinburgh University in February.

Phillips said its relationship with the NUS was going really well and that he expected there were between 50 and 100 medium- to large-size campuses that could be appropriate for the business. “Our plan is to open between three and four sites before the new school year in September,” he said.

He said the operator had also moved more into the retail space and was selling bagged pitta snacks and its own bottled sauces within its outlets.