Roosters Piri Piri is to build its presence in the south east of England, with planned openings in Canterbury, Ashford and Portsmouth.

These will follow its opening in The Core Food Court in Leeds this week, and a restaurant in Eastleigh, Hampshire in three weeks’ time.

Shahid Hussain, director of UK and global franchising, told MCA that he was confident the Leeds opening would be a gateway for its expansion in the north.

“We are currently still searching for the right franchise partner in Manchester, and are confident we can open a number of sites in the north west once we have secured the right partner,” he said.

He said its planning team had submitted planning applications with the local councils in Canterbury and Portsmouth. “Once approved we hope to start the building process,” said Hussain. It is looking to open its site in Ashford, Kent to towards the beginning of 2019.

“Our team are really pleased with our expansion and we hope to continue this upward trend throughout the remainder of 2018 and into 2019,” added Hussain.

The healthy grilled fast food concept has c40 sites, including two in Ireland and one in Libya.