Mango Tree, the international South East Asian restaurant group, is targeting 20-25 sites in the UK over the next five years, MCA has learnt.

Trevor McKenzie, Mango Tree’s global managing director, told MCA the group would initially aim for 10-15 locations in airports and rail stations, before widening the expansion to the High Street.

London will be the primary focus, as well as large UK cities at a later stage, with UK growth being led by Alison Vickers, formerly of YO! Sushi.

Owned by the Thailand-based Asian Cuisine & Hospitality Co, the Mango Tree Thai Bistro format will be earmarked for smaller high street locations, Mango Tree Café for shopping malls and larger train station sites, and Mango Tree Kitchen for train stations and airports.

UK expansion will take place under franchise and licensing agreements, with talks taking place between potential partners who are assessing travel hubs and high street locations.

The plans are part of a wider expansion push to take the estate from 70 to 100 sites globally, and follows the launch of outlets in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and Tokyo Station.

On recruiting franchise partners, McKenzie told MCA: “We have identified many companies already and our team is now in the process of introducing us to them and seeing where the opportunities lie in travel hubs primarily focus and the high streets as the next launch.

“We are focussing on travel hubs as we have seen the popularity of Thai food really boom since our time in UK, but many high streets already have Thai or Asian concepts - hence we have seen a niche in the market to fill.”

Mango Tree Worldwide operates 70 restaurant outlets in 14 countries around the globe different brands, all specialising in Thai and Southeast Asian cuisine.