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Tue 16th Oct 2018 - Duncan Garrood steps down as Bill's CEO
Duncan Garrood steps down as Bill’s chief executive: Duncan Garrood has stepped down as chief executive of Bill’s Restaurants, owned by Richard Caring, after less than a year, Propel can exclusively reveal. Garrood was brought in to lead the company in January in place of Mark Fox as it entered a new phase of development and expansion across the country. But he has departed to “focus on other ventures and new opportunities”. A spokeswoman told Propel: “Duncan Garrood has decided to leave the business to focus on his other ventures and new opportunities. The team will continue to be led by founder Bill Collison, executive chairman David Campbell and the existing management team. In the meantime, it’s business as usual as Bill’s continues with its successful refurbishment programme that positions the brand as a local, evening dining destination.” Garrood said: "While it has been a relatively short time at Bill’s, a lot of great things have been achieved. A high-quality management team is in place; superbly transformed restaurants, which we call New Look Bill’s, are being rolled out and enthusiastically received by guests and they are performing strongly. Bill’s has a new digital presence and has the best team of restaurant staff I’ve had the pleasure to work with. While it’s time for me to move on to new challenges, more about which will follow soon, I know the team at Bill’s will go from strength to strength and my heartfelt thanks for all their support, energy and dedication. I shall continue to be an enthusiastic supporter of Bill’s." Bill’s has started rolling out its refurbishment plans to cover key sites. The move focuses on boosting the brand’s evening trade by transforming ten of its London and regional venues with a new interior design. The new look will be introduced to London sites in Greenwich, Soho, Hammersmith, Clink Street, Wimbledon and Kensington, in addition to Reigate, Tunbridge Wells, Norwich and Cambridge. Alongside the refurbishment, Bill’s will offer a new menu and revised cocktail list across all its UK sites. Last month, Bill’s revealed it would discontinue its app in December following “operational issues”. Prior to joining Bill’s, Garrood led the successful turnaround of Punch as its chief executive, leaving the business in September last year after its acquisition by Patron Capital and the sale of 1,900 Punch pubs to Heineken. Before that he ran a wide portfolio of restaurant and hospitality brands across the Middle East and Europe. Collison opened the first Bill’s restaurant in Lewes, East Sussex, in 2001. The brand has expanded to operate circa 75 sites in the UK. In its latest accounts available at Companies House, Bill’s saw turnover increase 7.3% to £118,572,000 for the year ending 30 July 2017 compared with £110,547,000 the previous year. Adjusted Ebitda was up 0.5% to £13,600,000 compared with £13,526,000 the year before. Pre-tax profit fell to £4,880,000 compared with £7,003,000 the previous year.

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