TWENTY jobs could be created as the UK’s fastest growing Chinese takeaway chain announces it wants to open five new stores in Hampshire.

Hotcha is looking to open takeaways in London Road, Shirley and Portswood in Southampton.

One will be opened in High Street, Eastleigh, and another in West Street, in Fareham.

The store locations have been chosen following a feasibility exercise and each will employ four people The chain was founded two years ago by entrepreneur James Liang, who had a vision to create the UK’s first national Chinese takeaway brand.

Now the chain is seeking experienced franchisees and fast food managers to run the franchise operations.

A spokesman said: “The company is looking for partners with strong local market knowledge to share in the success of the business.

“It is expected that franchisees will need around £75,000 in personal funds to start a Hotcha store, with the remaining start-up costs available through bank financing.

“Stores in the south eest have typically turned over £500,000 per annum with profits of £150,000.”

It comes as the company has appointed Andrew Emmerson as non-executive director to support the national expansion programme.

He has held a number of senior roles within the hospitality sector, including business development director at Dominos Pizza, where he oversaw the sourcing and opening of over 50 stores annually, managing director of Millie’s Cookies, and international brand director at Upper Crust.

Prior to joining Hotcha he was a senior executive at Dunkin Donuts in the USA.

Hotcha says it has proved particularly popular with families, young professionals and students.

Stores are branded with a modern “street” image and attract customers through multiple channels, including online ordering, takeaway, delivery and dine-in services.