The private equity-backed sandwich chain EAT plans to expand beyond London – after securing a further £40m in funding.

The company is understood to have secured the backing from Ardian last month and plans to spend £12.5m on growing the brand across the UK.

The company is backed by Lyceum Capital and run by new chief executive Adrian Johnson.

Johnson told the Financial Times: “The marketplace is still there. It has been tough, but people are coming through it. What people don’t give up [in a downturn] are the low-spend treats.”

The coffee shop and sandwich market continues to be buoyant in the UK, and last month EAT’s rival Pret A Manger posted a 15% increase in sales. The high street chain saw sales hit £510m, while underlying profit rose 9% to £67m.