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Thu 13th Oct 2022 - Exclusive: Island Poké appoints Nicolas Barnoin as new MD, sold more than 80 locations to franchisees across UK
Exclusive – Island Poké appoints Nicolas Barnoin as new MD, sold more than 80 locations to franchisees across UK: Island Poké, the White Rabbit Projects and Hero Brands-backed business, has appointed Nicolas Barnoin as its new managing director, Propel has learned. Barnoin will join the 31-strong Island Poke on Monday, 31 October from his role as chief financial officer at Famously Proper, where he is responsible for the operation of 23 sites across the Byron and Mother Clucker brands. Prior to that, he spent 20 years with Itsu, working his way up from general manager to shops director covering an estate of more than 70 sites. Island Poke said synergies between itself and Itsu were obvious and it will benefit “hugely from Nicolas’ experience in the food-to-go sector”. Working closely with founder James Gould-Porter, the company said Barnoin will look to grow the business and its network of franchise partners to establish the brand as “a fast-growing success story”. It said it had already sold more than 80 locations across the UK due to open over the next five years, with debuts in Cambridge, Birmingham, Bristol and Scotland scheduled for the remainder of this year, plus a further 150 potential locations identified yet to be sold. As well as domestic growth, Barnoin will also oversee the continued expansion of Island Poké in France where the estate will grow from 12 to 32 Islands over the next three years. Beyond France, it said Barnoin will begin to foster strategic alliances with operators across Europe and beyond to “cement Island Poké’s place on the global hospitality scene”. Island Poke has reported “all time sales records” since its inception almost six years ago this summer. The company said: “To August this year we surpassed pre-pandemic 2019 sales by 6%, while like-for-like sales versus 2021 are tracking up 81%. This is against a backdrop of London offices (that supply the majority of our customers) still operating at significantly reduced occupancy. Simultaneously, we have secured a new long-term supply chain and logistics agreement allowing us to mitigate the current inflationary challenges the industry faces, while delivering incremental profit gains.” Barnoin said: “It’s great to be joining Island Poké as managing director at such a pivotal moment in its expansion. The ‘healthy quick service restaurant’ market in the UK is on the verge of breaking through into the mainstream and the talented Island Poké team is at the very forefront of this trend with a brand that customers adore and a product that is both healthy as well as nutritious and doesn’t compromise on taste. Island Poké is on an exciting growth journey and I am looking forward to joining such a vibrant brand and work alongside James, the team and our franchise partners (current and future) to further drive its expansion and deliver new locations across the UK, Europe and beyond.” Gould-Porter added: “We’re excited to welcome Nicolas to our Island Poké Ohana as our new managing director. Nicolas has a breadth of industry knowledge and his expertise will be a key asset in our growth plans as we look to bring Island Poké to more customers up and down the country.” Island Poké features in Propel’s UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database, which is an exhaustive guide to the companies offering a food and beverage franchise in the UK and is available exclusively to Premium subscribers. The latest edition features 155 companies and almost 70,000 words of content, providing insight on the offer, locations, cost and other key details. The database is updated every two months. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The single subscription rate is £445 plus VAT for operators and £545 plus VAT for suppliers. Email to upgrade your subscription.

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