London’s Bar.B.Q institution, Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Lobstershack, has announced six new appointments to its senior management team.
Big Easy currently holds three sites across London, with a fourth site planned for Edinburgh later this year. Following the success of its Canary Wharf branch, which surpassed all expectations, Big Easy Founder, Paul Corrett, has brought on board several key personnel with a wealth of experience to build on the brand’s enduring popularity and take the business to the next level.
Big Easy Founder, Paul Corrett, said: “As the Big Easy brand continues to grow in popularity, I am absolutely thrilled to bring in new members of the team to help elevate the whole Big Easy experience. Big times are ahead for the restaurant with our next opening in Edinburgh as well as some exciting and totally unique projects that we can’t wait to share.”
Joining the Big Easy brand in a newly created position of operations director south, Jean-Baptiste Requien, will play a key role in supporting the current Big Easy restaurants in the South of the UK, as well as overseeing potential future openings.
He brings a wealth of experience to the team having spent six years in restaurant manager roles with the Gordon Ramsay Group including overseeing the opening of two Gordon Ramsay restaurants in New York. In recent years Requien has worked with the D&D London Group as a senior general manager, where he looked after both Bluebird and Quaglino’s.
Damon Kestle will join the team as operations director north, overseeing the new site set for Edinburgh, and future openings in the north of the UK. Kestle has experience across a range of operational roles and has worked all over the UK as well as abroad, having worked in Toronto for the past six years as regional director of restaurants for Service Inspired Restaurants.
With over 15 years of experience, Helen Cook joins the Big Easy team as marketing & commercial director. Having originally started her career in the hospitality industry on the operational side, Helen moved across to marketing within Novus Leisure Ltd. Cook will oversee and communicate a number of exciting projects that are in the pipeline for Big Easy and will bring her expertise in scaling brands across multiple marketing disciplines to the business.
Dinuka Bandara Gunasekara will join Big Easy in the newly created role as director of coffee. Gunasekara has a passion and wealth of knowledge about the humble bean, following his experience with companies such as Harris + Hoole and Knot Coffee and Pretzel.
His role will initially focus on a brand new project at the Canary Wharf site, ensuring that the new coffee offering at Big Easy is of the highest quality and one of the best in London. He will then move into a development role across the whole of the Big Easy group.
In the kitchen, new group executive chef, Marcos Georgiou, joins from Jamie’s Italian, where he has worked as chef director for the past three years overseeing the opening of 21 restaurants in the UK, and a further 22 international sites. In addition to being involved with the menu development, Georgiou will also bring his knowledge of multi-site operations to the role, a key skill as the Big Easy brand continues to grow.
Also joining the team is human resources director, Elisabete Gomes Taveres. Having worked in the hospitality human resources sector for over 15 years in positions at Nando’s, Gondola Group and most recently as the HR business partner at Zizzi Restaurants, Taveres brings a breadth of experience to Big Easy and will oversee the entire HR strategy for the company.