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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 4th Mar 2019 - Steve Richards to step down as CDG chief executive
Steve Richards to step down as CDG chief executive: Casual Dining Group (CDG), the operator of circa 290 mid-market restaurant brands including Las Iguanas, Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge, has announced chief executive Steve Richards will leave the business at the end of May 2019 to join Parkdean Holidays as their chief executive. It is understood Richards tendered his resignation at the start of the year but will stay on at CDG until June to ensure an orderly handover. The search for a replacement is under way. A source said: “Steve has led the business for more than five years, a fairly healthy tenure for a chief executive, overseeing massive change and leaves the business in solid shape. The business is performing well in a tough market and Steve leaves a very strong and stable senior team.” Parkdean has net asset value of circa £1.3bn, considerably larger than CDG. Rooney Anand, chairman of CDG, said: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Steve for his achievements as chief executive of Casual Dining Group. We will appoint his successor soon and make a further announcement in due course. Steve will help us effect a smooth transition as we continue to grow and develop the business in the fast-moving and competitive casual dining market.”

Wagamama opens debut French site, in Paris: Wagamama has opened its debut French site, in Paris. The company has opened the restaurant in Place Du Budapest, near Gare St Lazare, in partnership with French foodservice group FDC Croissance. The purpose-designed restaurant has 130 covers with a mixture of canteen-style benches along with loose and fixed seating. It features the street art of international artist Dawid Paradowki while an outdoor terrace with an additional 50 covers will be added later in the year. Wagamama's menu in France consists of a variety of its classic rice and noodle dishes as well as its vegan options. Outside the UK, Wagamama operates franchises in 23 countries, including the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Cyprus as well as in various territories across the Middle East. International managing director Brian Johnston said: “Over the past few years, diners have been embracing many different types of cuisine so it’s the perfect time to bring Wagamama to France with its enthusiasm for a variety of tastes and flavours. We’ve found an exciting franchise partner in FDC Croissance.” FDC Croissance operating partner Phil Sadoun added: “This is a very exciting and important opening for us and we are proud to have become part of the Wagamama family.”
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