Casual Dining Group is looking for a new CEO after it was revealed yesterday that Steve Richards is to leave the post.
Mr Richards, who has also been influential in the emergence of trade body UK Hospitality, will take on the same position at leisure operator Parkdean Resorts. His new assignment will begin from June.
Mr Richards has been with CDG for five years and spoke about the state of the business and its plans for growth in a keynote session at last week’s Casual Dining Show.
He currently oversees 290 sites comprising Bella Italia – which he called the ‘workhorse’ of the group – Cafe Rouge and Las Iguanas.
In July last year, CDG announced a cash investment of £30m to fund growth opportunities as part of a successful refinancing of the group.
The capital injection and refinancing, led by KKR, was designed to provide a long-term capital structure for the group, strengthen the balance sheet and position CDG for growth.
“We are delighted to have agreed substantial new investment which establishes a strong foundation to continue to invest in our brands and take advantage of opportunities in the sector as they arise. With no external debt and strong funding, this gives Casual Dining Group a very strong financial platform,” said Mr Richards at the time.
At Parkdean, which runs 67 holiday parks in the UK, he will take over from co-founder and CEO John Waterworth, who is retiring from the business.
The move will see Mr Richards link up again with Martin Robinson, who was the non-executive chairman at CDG until late last year, when he was replaced by former Greene King boss Rooney Anand.