Jamie’s Italian, the restaurant chain headed up by chef Jamie Oliver, is understood to be considering franchising as a route into the US, MCA has learnt.

The company had previously said that it would take a company-owned approached to any launch in the US.

However, MCA understands that the group, which current operates c40 restaurants internationally with different partners, is looking, as one option, into the franchise market in the US and exploring operating models of how any future partnership might work.

Talking to MCA at the end of 2015, chief executive Simon Blagden said: “I hope it won’t be long before we see Jamie’s in the US. We want it to be company owned. There is definitely risk involved going there but we have a head start with the Jamie’s brand and also in areas such as health, nutrition and provenance.”

Yesterday, MCA revealed that the company was planning to ramp up the expansion of its fledgling sub brands – Jamie’s Pizzeria, Jamie’s Deli and Jamie’s Diner – internationally.

It plans to use the fledgling formats to strengthen its presence in existing markets but also allow it to enter new markets.

The group, which currently operates three Pizzerias in India, will open its sixth international site for the year this month in Oslo, as part of plans to open 22 restaurants overseas in 2017.

A Jamie’s Deli is set to open in Vienna Airport this summer.

The company said last year that it plans to open in excess of 100 further restaurants internationally in the next four years.