Compass Group has announced a franchise partnership with Eat as part of its in-store business with Debenhams.

The partnership will launch at two Debenhams’ stores in Basingstoke and Portsmouth, with plans to roll this out across further stores over the next few years.

Eat concessions will offer a range of hot food-to-go options such as pies, wok pots and soups in addition to its range of sandwiches, salads, cakes and pastries.

Its drinks range includes coffee, chilled frappés and coolers, and tea.

Debenhams’ restaurants, cafés and branded food partners currently serve up to 19 million customers across its 175 department stores each year.

“We’re thrilled to be extending our brand portfolio with such a well-respected national name as Eat. Our shared focus on providing customers with great-tasting, seasonal food makes us an ideal match and will ensure we’re perfectly placed to adapt to the rapidly growing grab-and-go market,” said Compass Group UK and Ireland marketing director Louise Pilkington.

“Our insights tell us food-to-go is what our customers increasingly look for, but they’re not prepared to compromise on taste and quality, so we’re confident working with Eat is giving our consumers more of what they want.”

Eat CEO Andrew Walker added: “It feels really good to be launching a new exclusive franchise partnership with Compass to operate Eat stores inside Debenhams and potentially in the future expanding to hospitals and universities within the Compass client base.”

“We hope this is the start of a long and fruitful partnership. This is a great opportunity for Eat to work alongside other leading brands and to reach a wider audience. The first of these opportunities is within Debenhams, and we look forward to sharing our great-tasting, good mood food with Debenhams’ shoppers.”

Debenhams head of external business food services Sam Shutt said “Our partnership with Compass’ Instore business gives us the opportunity to maximise our customers’ shopping experience by offering a range of quality food and drink. We know our customers will love the Eat brand and we’re looking forward to seeing it in two of our stores later this year.”