Sandwich bar chain O’Briens revealed this week it plans to have 80 more shops and business canteens in the UK bearing its brand by the end of this decade.

"We are already the market leader in Ireland and Scotland. Now we plan to be the market leader in England and Wales," said the chain’s UK franchise director Paul Stanton.

The franchise operator, which sells its brand to independent sandwich operators in suitable areas, said it hoped to have 12 new 0’Briens outlets up and running in the UK by this Christmas - followed by 20 next year (2008), 20 in 2009 and 30 in 2010.

Stanton said the company was keeping the locations secret for fear of alerting the competition, which includes Marks & Spencer and Pret A Manger.

The chain, which has suppliers including Fresh Fare and Nortons, is rolling out an extended menu and a new look, with a focus on more soft seating. A bigger range of pastries, quiches and iced juices is also planned.

Already, 70% of the UK’s 142 outlets, which include company canteens, have been refurbished.

O’Briens’ new retail and operations director Andrew Moyes, a former Marks & Spencer marketing manager, said: "These days many people have less time than ever to enjoy their lunch or coffee breaks. So we’ve looked at enhancing the speed of our service at peak periods, without compromising on quality."