KFC believes it can build at least another 200 sites under a new smaller footprint format in the UK & Ireland on top of the additional 400 traditional units it is planning to open in the country, M&C Report has learnt.

Speaking at M&C Report’s Restaurant Conference managing director Martin Shuker said the 870-strong company is looking to increase its presence at transport hubs and in urban areas by developing the format of KFC to bring it to more consumers in more locations.

“That clearly calls for us to innovate on our footprint, on menu, on our service system and that is what we’re very aggressively endeavouring to do. Within that context we would think there are at least another 200 restaurants that we could build in addition to our core estate

The group is eyeing drive-thru restaurants and high street locations to grow its current estate of 870 restaurants with its “first priority” being drive-thrus.

Shuker said: “If you look at the UK and Ireland we think we could build 400 more restaurants of exactly the same type of drive through footprint that we’ve got today that have been so profitable.”

To further develop the brand, the company has worked on a filming project with the BBC that allowed access across the business to show what life is like within KFC. Three one-hour episodes will air in January giving a glimpse into the brand in the UK.