A UK restaurant chain is planning to open 20 new restaurants around the country over the next five years, creating 600 new jobs.

Leon, which describes itself as the "naturally fast food brand" will open its first Irish outlet in Temple Bar in Dublin city centre in May.

It also plans to open up in Dundrum Town Centre later this year.  

Leon said its food is based around the proven health benefits of the Mediterranean diet and the company said it will work with local Irish suppliers to bring their menu to Ireland.

The restaurant group has 63 outlets worldwide with over 50 around the UK as well as restaurants in Norway, the Netherlands and the US. 

It also recently opened its first US restaurant in Washington DC and will open a second restaurant there later this summer.

The people responsible for bringing the Leon restaurant brand to Ireland are Stuart Fitzgerald, Alan O'Neill and Brian McIntyre. 

Stuard Fitzgerald said that Temple Bar is a melting pot of culture, creativity and individuality which makes it the perfect setting for Leon's Irish launch. 

"We are very proud to be able to say we will be making such a positive impact on the Irish economy over the next five years with the creation of 600 jobs and using so many Irish suppliers in our various locations across the country," he added.