Burger chain Byron has appointed former La Tasca boss Simon Wilkinson as its new chief executive.
Wilkinson’s arrival comes as the company attempts to change its fortunes, having entered a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) last year, which resulted in the closure of a number of less profitable sites and saw investor Three Hills Capital Partners become majority shareholder.
Byron, which was founded in 2007, now has 53 restaurants, having reached a peak of more than 70 outlets in late 2017.
Wilkinson helped to turn La Tasca around before it was sold to the Casual Dining Group (CDG), where he became a board director and the managing director for strategic options. During his two years at CDG he integrated La Tasca and repositioned its well-known Café Rouge brand.
Mauro Moretti, managing partner at Three Hills, said: “Byron’s a fantastic brand, still hugely loved by its customers. With Simon joining as CEO we know we have been very fortunate to have attracted a top-class executive who will lead the excellent Byron team to refurbish the estate later this year and drive the brand forward. And in the coming months we will be making further appointments which will complete the restructure of Byron’s top management team.”
Wilkinson said: “I’m delighted to be joining Byron, the original premium burger brand, as its new CEO. I was in the fortunate position of having a number of options available to me, but Byron ticked all the boxes I was looking for; it’s a great brand, is now well funded and will be investing in restaurant refurbishments and positioning the brand to be the best in what is a rapidly changing market.
“And in Mauro, the Byron board and the Three Hills Capital Partners team I can see we have super-passionate owners all of whom share the vision of how we will drive Byron forward to future success.”