Itsu has appointed McDonald’s former largest UK franchisee Atul Pathak as its new franchise partner.

Pathak sold his 43 McDonald’s restaurants, across in London and Berkshire, earlier this year, with McDonald’s Restaurants Limited acquiring the entire share capital of App Corporation – the business led by Pathak.

His first Itsu restaurant is set to open in Wembley, next to the stadium, late this autumn, and will be the “first of many” sites that he expects to open over the next 12 months.

Commenting on the new partnership, Julian Metcalfe, founder of Itsu said: “Atul Pathak has an incredible wealth of experience opening restaurants for the largest fast-food chains in the world.

“His high standards and commitment to quality, accessible food at an affordable price, cements Mr Pathak as a perfect partner to help make Itsu available to more people in more places.”

Pathak said he was looking forward to “exploring new opportunities that reflect the changes we are seeing amongst Gen Z and Millennial consumers.”

“We are excited to join forces given our complementary models, shared values, and we both have ambitious expansion plans over the next 24 months.”

Itsu opened its first franchise site, in partnership with Heart With Smart, at Berkshire’s Reading Gate retail park in August 2021, and has since opened five further franchise locations.

In June, German Doner Kebab announced it had joined forces with Pathak, whose development plan includes up to 30 sites, ten of which are set to be delivered across the south of England by 2023.