The group is currently searching for sites in affluent market towns across the two regions.
So far, efforts have been concentrated in Solihull, Mere Green, Sutton Coldfield, Lichfield, Sandbach, Stoke, North of Derby suburbs, Ribble Valley, Macclesfield, Crewe, Hinckley, Woolerton and Beeston.
3Sixty Restaurants chief executive James Horler said plans to expand Ego follow a “phenomenal” 12 months for the chain, which currently has eight restaurants.
“We think the Ego offer could work very well in pubs so we’re currently talking to a number of pub operators about finding suburban sites,” said Horler.
“We’re happy to operate tenanted pubs, tied on beers, but where we put the Ego food offering in. We think we can drive numbers and we know with our marketing we can create a real following in the area and become the place to go.”
Colliers International has been appointed to lead the search. Director for Licenced and Leisure Ross Kirton said: “The Mediterranean-inspired concept with its upmarket and sophisticated feel, has already proven successful and as part of an evolution of the concept, we are seeking character-led pub properties across both town centre and ‘destination’ suburban locations, particularly across the Midlands and North West of England, with potential for around 120 covers.”
3Sixty Restaurants is backed by sector investor Luke Johnson, who merged Ego with pizza operator Rocket and is now chairman of the group.
The company was almost put up for sale last year after an ‘unsolicited takeover’ approach by a private equity firm.
However, talks over the sale were ended when 3Sixty achieved double digit sales growth in the latter part of the year and decided the bid put forward did not reflect the current value of the business.
Ego serves up a range of Mediterranean dishes from Moroccan tagines to Greek meze, Spanish tapas, pizza and fresh fish.
Earlier this week, BigHospitality reported that another Mediterranean chain Mezze, which operates in six pubs in the South West, has seen a surge in sales so far this year.
Mezze director Alex Tryfonos said he believed the 30% year-on-year growth in sales recorded since the beginning of January was down to customers looking for healthier eating-out options.