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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Thu 27th Feb 2020 - Wagamama restructures management team, IoL extends Daniel Davies’ term as chairman
Wagamama restructures management team, Sherwood promoted to chief operating officer: Wagamama, the Emma Woods-led brand, has restructured its management team with UK managing director Nigel Sherwood promoted to chief operating officer and two new operations directors appointed, Propel has learned. Sherwood, who formerly worked for Byron, Nando’s and Shake Shack, joined Wagamama in summer 2017 and will now take on a broader role. Following his promotion, Wagamama has created two operations director roles in the UK, who will both report into Sherwood. Lisa Buckley, regional director for the north, has been promoted to operations director UK and will assume responsibility for all core UK restaurants. Meanwhile Ashley Hamilton, regional director for the south, has been promoted to operations director growth. He will assume responsibility for delivery, grab and go concept Mamago, and the early-life operation of all openings. The company said in recognition of the growing demand for Wagamama outside the UK, property director Phil Derbyshire would add the international franchise business to his portfolio after being promoted to property and international franchise development director. Daniel Blasco, director of international franchise, will now report into Derbyshire. At the same time Propel understands the company has appointed Kay Bartlett, formerly of Lucozade Ribena Suntory and AkzoNobel, as UK marketing director. Bartlett will focus on the core UK business, which will allow chief marketing officer Ross Farquhar to take a more “holistic view of the group’s overall marketing strategy”. Propel has also learned the group’s business development director, Andre Johnstone, who has been with Wagamama for the past six years and was previously UK marketing director, is to step down. A Wagamama spokesman told Propel: “After six successful years at Wagamama, Andre has decided it’s time for a new challenge and is leaving the business. We wish him all the best on his next adventure.” Johnstone previously worked at Mitchells & Butlers for more than 15 years. On Wednesday (26 February), The Restaurant Group-owned Wagamama announced full-year like-for-like sales increased 8.5%, with adjusted Ebitda rising to £60.7m in 2019, from £44.6m the previous year.

IoL extends Daniel Davies’ term as chairman: The Institute of Licensing (IoL), the professional body for licensing professionals, has extended Daniel Davies’ term as chairman. At a board meeting on Wednesday (26 February), IoL directors re-elected Davies for a further term until February 2023. Davies has been chairman since 2015, when he succeeded Jon Collins. Under Davies’ leadership, the IoL has continued to extend its reach in the licensed trade with regular engagement in industry-led forums and events. Training and events continue to develop and Davies was instrumental in establishing a further IoL publication, LINK magazine, which complements the Journal Of Licensing. Davies, who is founder and chief executive of Rockpoint Leisure, said: “I am fortunate to work with a fantastic team of people and have the support of a great board of directors. I look forward to the next three years and making sure the IoL is at the focal point of discussions with government departments while continuing to move the organisation forward for the benefit of our membership.” IoL vice-chairman Gary Grant added: “Dan has been integral to the recent growth of the institute into the leading organisation in UK licensing. His business acumen and tremendous drive have broadened the institute’s membership from its local authority origins into a broad church that now includes many of the leading trade organisations and major commercial players.”

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