Pod, the healthy fast food concept, is set to exceed its expansion target this year, with plans to have at least 20 sites open by the end of 2011. The London-based chain, which is led by chief executive Tim Hall, started the year with nine sites, with plans to open six new units this summer. The company, which recently took its estate to 12 sites with openings in Regents Place, Chiswell Street and New Street, is now targeting another seven openings before the end of the year to take its estate close to the 20 mark. Pod, which opened its first restaurant in 2006 at London Wall, will look at further opportunities to expand in 2012, including locations in Greater London and nationally. The company, which received a £2.5m cash injection from private group JGR Capital earlier this year, includes Nicolas Payne, ex-business development director for Burger King Europe and Christopher Upton, ex-Malmaison, as shareholders James Paget, managing director at UBS Investment Bank, has also joined the chain’s board as a non-executive director earlier this year. Talking to M&C Report about the group’s rollout plans in April, Hall said: “This is a natural progression for the business. We believe we now a model that is ready for further roll out, initially in Greater London but also eventually to other parts of the UK. The operational team in place is one that is more suited to an estate of 20 to 25 sites rather our current nine therefore we are confident of achieving our target. “Chains such as Pret and Eat have proven that there is still plenty of expansion possibilities in the capital. We also believe there are opportunities for a healthy fast food concept to be successful outside of London and we are excited about the next stage of Pod’s expansion.”