Lifestyle Hospitality Group (LHG), the leisure operator behind the Tiger Bills concept, has signed up a first franchisee for its Casa Maroc North African and Mediterranean restaurant format, with plans to open three within its territory in the south west.

Devon-based AIS Hospitality, which owns a numbers of pubs and clubs in the region and also operates some Tiger Bills restaurants, has begun trading under the Casma Maroc concept at a site in Bartholomew Street, Exeter.

LHG chief executive James Eyre said: “We are delighted that AIS have taken the first Casa Maroc franchise and know that it is going to go from strength to strength as a brand and as it rolls out nationally. We are looking forward to the announcement of further sites in the next six months.”

AIS said: “There are many reasons why we decided to invest in Casa Maroc. Not only do we love the brand and enjoy eating there ourselves, but we loved the package that Unique Hospitality Brands (UHB) offered us, which includes competitive marketing, state of the art equipment and systems and access to excellent and highly competitive food and drink supply chains. We have bought into a proven system.”

Casa Maroc offers a range of tapas dishes, Moroccan tajines as well as grill offering like steaks and Italian fayre of pizzas, pastas and paella.