One of the chief architects of pub giant Greene King’s kitchen and catering equipment strategy has left the company to begin a new role with a smaller, regional-led pub chain keen to grow its food offering.
David George, who led Greene King’s catering equipment team as head of food development, has taken on the mantle of head of catering development at the Derbyshire-based Pub People Company. It owns and operates around 50 pubs in the East Midlands and provides pub management, accounting and marketing services for national and local clients.
Around two-thirds of its estate currently serves food and Mr George’s role will be to move that offering forward, utilising his extensive experience of back-of-house equipment and menu development.
Mr George had been with Greene King for more than a decade, but said he felt the time was right to move on and wanted to join a smaller, ambitious operator as well as be based closer to home. His former position has been filled by Kevin Harper, previously at Spirit Group, which Green King acquired, who will oversee catering equipment activities.
Greene King operates more than 3,000 pubs and during his 10 years at the firm Mr George was involved in numerous large projects and brand roll-outs.
He oversaw the development of the group’s kitchen facilities and was instrumental in the introduction of new cooking platforms as key brand such as Hungry Horse and Old English Inns assessed how to satisfy customer demand for good quality food and increasingly speedy service. Mr George also played a key role in managing relationships with Greene King’s key kitchen equipment suppliers, such as Lincat and Electrolux.
He departs the company at a time when it continues to integrate the Spirit Pub Company into its business following its £774m takeover last year. From a kitchen perspective, more than 40% of the group’s combined sales is expected to come from food in future.