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Carluccio’s boosts exec kitchen team with new food operations chief

Matt Dale, head of food operations

Carluccio’s has appointed Matt Dale as its new head of food operations, further strengthening the brand’s ‘Fresca’ transformation team.

Mr Dale joins Carluccio’s with a wealth of experience, having previously held a senior food operations role at Bill’s restaurants in London, including involvement in the group’s most recent refurbishments.

Prior to this, he spent 10 years with Oceanico Resorts in Portugal’s Algarve, leading the food and beverage concepts as group chef.

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Mark Jones, CEO of Carluccio’s, said: “We are thrilled to welcome someone of Matt’s experience and aptitude. Revitalising our menu is an essential component of our ‘Fresca’ programme and we look forward to elevating this part of the business with Matt’s help.”

The appointment comes in the wake of a number of strategic hires to drive the £10m transformation programme, which started with the reopening of its Richmond restaurant.

The chain has already brought in Graham Ford, also from Bill’s, as commercial director, Hilary Ansell, from Gordon Ramsay Group, as marketing director and Marco Barletta, formerly of Franco Manca, as operations manager. Operations director Lee Goodridge has moved across from Busaba Eathai, while Dominika Rusnak, who previously worked at The Ivy Collection, has joined as Fresca openings manager.

Mr Dale said he was looking forward to joining a brand with an incredible heritage: “The late Antonio Carluccio’s food legacy is one of authentic, fuss-free Italian recipes using the best quality ingredients. I look forward to carrying forward this ethos as we update and modernise the menu in line with the brand’s revitalisation programme.”

Carluccio’s recently announced it is ramping up its ‘Fresca’ programme by upgrading at least five more sites over the coming months.

The investment follows the success of a pilot refurb at Richmond earlier this year and will see stores including Heathrow Terminal 5 and Bluewater shopping centre undergo a major transformation.

More than £500,000 will be spent improving both sites, with 20 new roles created in the process.

“The success of our Richmond pilot and the start of our Fresca roll-out is an important milestone for the Carluccio’s business,” added Mr Jones. “With a new focus on recruiting, training and developing teams and a clear plan to re-assert and build on our credentials as the UK’s leading Italian restaurant group, we are in a great place to drive the business forward.”

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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