Neds Noodle Bar is looking to reach 100 franchise sites over the next five years, as it kicks off its franchise operation in 2019, MCA has learnt.

The business, had previously signed an international franchise deal with Fransmart in 2015, to open 100 sites across the UK, Germany and UAE, however the partnership didn’t work out, James Breslaw, CEO of Neds Noodle Bar, told MCA.

It is now working with a new partner, and is looking to focus its growth plan on the UK only, opening a mixture of company-owned and franchise sites. It currently has four sites (all company owned), with its first franchise sites to open in Southampton and Winchester in the first quarter of 2019.

The business is also close to signing a lease on a site in central London, which would be company-owned and likely to open in March/April 2019.

On the franchise side, he said the business was going to go “hell for leather” in terms of openings. “We have already got a couple of franchisees signed up. I think it’s just about to go. It’s a very franchisable brand, and we have a massive delivery operation,” he said.

“Just in the south east I think we could get 25-35 sites going, and in areas like Bristol, Leeds and Manchester I think we could probably five do five in those areas as well,” he said. The franchisee who is opening the Southampton and Winchester sites is likely to open another three in the Hampshire area, he added.

While the company previously looked to franchise internationally, Breslaw says the current plan is to build its business in the UK.

The business, which was founded in 2000, opened its latest noodle bar in Oxford’s Westgate development, last summer, which Breslaw said has been a huge success for them, despite other operators in the development experiencing poor trade.

“It’s been amazing for us. We have paid the whole store off in a year – we have done nearly £1m since opening,” he said. Breslaw said he wasn’t sure if it was the popularity of the noodles, the store design, or the fact he negotiated hard to get a very central spot, but he says the business has been very fortunate there.

Breslaw said that while delivery didn’t account for a huge part of its sales at Westgate, it is a huge part in its London locations – Neds Noodle Bar has sites in Shoreditch, Southbank and Basildon – , making up around 35% of its total business. “We do around £1m through delivery a year,” he said.

The business has also been work on its tech development and has just released a loyalty and reward app, which is performing well. It is also in the process of upgrading its mobile app so that customers can order online through the app, which should go live by the end of this, he said.