The Big Table, which was recently formed to acquire and operate the Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas restaurant brands, has appointed Mike Tye as its non-executive chairman.
With extensive board-level experience across the out-of-home food and drink market, Mr Tye will work closely with Epiris, the private equity firm which supported the acquisition in August, and a senior management team led by CEO James Spragg and CFO Adrian Walker.
Mr Tye has more than 30 years’ board and leadership experience in the UK restaurant and eating out market.
He is currently chairman of private equity-backed Moto Hospitality, and of privately-owned Haulfryn Group and vice-chairman of Prostate Cancer UK.
He is former CEO of Spirit Group and recently stepped down as a non-executive director of The Restaurant Group. Additionally, he has led Costa Coffee, David Lloyd Leisure and Premier Travel Inn.
Mr Tye said: “With a talented management team in place and supportive, experienced investors, The Big Table represents an exceptional opportunity to build a first-class UK restaurant business. These are challenging times, but this is a strong business with brands that are popular with customers, and it is well-placed to overcome the current uncertainty and deliver growth over the years ahead.”
The Big Table comprises over 150 restaurants across its three core brands and its formation safeguarded more than 4,000 jobs across the UK. Epiris’ investment in the business has enabled it to reopen its restaurants over the past month.
Around 140 sites are now welcoming guests, with the remaining openings planned for the coming weeks.
Epiris managing partner Alex Fortescue said: “We’re delighted to be working with Mike. There are very few individuals in the UK leisure and hospitality market with Mike’s accomplishments, standing and experience, and we are confident he will be a tremendous asset to James and the team at The Big Table.”