BREAKING NEWS: Waitrose hires first foodservice director ahead of casual dining push

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 18:  Waitrose shopping trolleys are stacked outside a branch of the supermarket on November 18, 2015 in Bristol, England. As the crucial Christmas retail period approaches, all the major supermarkets are becoming increasingly competitive to retain and increase their share of the market.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Waitrose has appointed its first ever director of foodservice in a move that indicates its intention to enhance its restaurant offering.

Simon Burdess is the man selected for the role and will join the business in September from the InterContinental Hotels Group where he is currently vice president, restaurants and bars.

As the supermarket develops its casual dining and grazing in branches, this newly created role will see Burdess lead on the development of Waitrose’s foodservice offer.

He also has 20 years’ experience in the retail industry, having previously been commercial director for Fortnum and Mason, and various commercial roles at Marks & Spencer, including as category manager for in-store hospitality.

Ben Stimson, retail director at Waitrose, said: “We want our shops to be places where customers will feel excited by and inspired by food – and evolving our food service offer is vital in achieving this. Simon brings a wealth of experience which will be invaluable in ensuring our hospitality makes our shops dynamic and vibrant places to visit.”

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