Casual Dining Group (CDG), the operator of 280 mid-market restaurant brands including Bella Italia, Las Iguanas and Cafe Rouge, has appointed James Spragg as chief executive officer.
Currently the chief operating officer, Spragg will take on the CEO role from this coming Monday, taking over from Steve Richards, who starts as boss of leisure operator Parkdean Resorts in June.
Rooney Anand, chairman of CDG, commented: “We conducted an extensive search and selection process that left us in no doubt that James is the right leader for this company. He has an intimate understanding of the business, having most recently served as chief operating officer, and will bring fresh ideas and energy to the role of CEO. Our industry continues to face challenges, however we see a host of exciting opportunities that we believe CDG can capitalise on under James’ seasoned leadership.”
Mr Spragg said: “CDG is at an exciting time in its journey. We have great restaurant brands, a talented team including a highly experienced new chairman, and high quality and supportive shareholders. I am delighted to accept this new role and to push forward with a series of new initiatives and growth opportunities.”
Mr Spragg has extensive experience in the restaurant and leisure industry, having begun his career at Allied Domecq, followed by roles at Pizza Hut, Scottish & Newcastle and Whitbread, among others.
Before joining CDG in 2014 he was managing director of Pizza Express, which was then part of Gondola Group. He has been with CDG for five years, and has been COO since 2016.