The UK’s leading independent restaurant group
Casual Dining Group is one of the largest independent restaurant companies in the UK. We operate some of the most recognisable and loved restaurant brands to be found anywhere in the eating-out market, such as Bella Italia, Café Rouge, La Tasca and Las Iguanas.
We operate almost 300 restaurant sites in a variety of locations including leisure parks, shopping centres, airports and high streets. We are a national business, with restaurants located across the country, from Aberdeen to Plymouth, employing more than 10,000 people and serving more than 20 million meals each year.
With the strong demand for our leading mid-market dining brands, we are currently opening one new restaurant every seven to 10 days. In addition to our UK operations, we are also looking for opportunities to selectively expand Casual Dining Group internationally, through franchise partnerships. As a result we recently opened our first restaurants in Dubai and in India.
Senior Leadership Team
Strong management team in place with experience of implementing roll outs and growth plans
Martin is a former Chairman of Center Parcs, having led a buyout of the group in 1997 and built the business over 18 years in partnership with several owners, prior to its £2.4bn sale earlier in 2015, to Canadian investment house Brookfield. He is Chairman of Inspiring Learning and a Supervising Board Director of Disneyland Paris. A former Chairman of Wagamama, Martin also sits on the Board of Majid Al Futtaim, the Dubai-based Middle East retail and leisure conglomerate.
Chief Executive Officer
Having graduated from University College London, Steve began his career at Allied Domecq and has subsequently spent 25 years in senior management roles within large-scale, multiple-site leisure and hospitality businesses. He is a former Managing Director of Scottish & Newcastle PLC, and Spirit Group Limited, where he held board responsibility for 1,000 outlets prior to the group’s sale to Punch Taverns for £2.7bn in 2007. He is also a former CEO of Novus Leisure and is the current Chairman of the ALMR, the leading trade group that represents the interests of 200 hospitality companies.
Chief Financial Officer
Giles qualified at Esso on their graduate training scheme. He subsequently held senior positions in digital ecommerce, private equity leveraged deals and multi-site consumer finance and retail in organisations including Marks & Spencer, Cellnet, Energis, O2, Brighthouse, United House and Wiggle CRC. Giles is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and an Associate Member of the Corporate Treasures Association.
Group Chief Operating Officer
James is responsible for the Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge brands, as well as leading some of CDG’s key strategic initiatives. A highly-experienced operator of restaurant businesses, James also oversees many of CDG’s central programmes. James previously led Pizza Express and Strada, and held leadership positions at Scottish & Newcastle, TGI Friday’s and Whitbread.
In more than 10 years with Las Iguanas, Mos has helped shape the much-admired Latin bar-restaurant business into a Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies To Work For. A highly-talented operator, and graduate of Birmingham’s prestigious College of Food, Mos rose up through the hospitality ranks, spending time at Disney and Slug & Lettuce, as well as aboard the QE2. He became CEO of the fast-growing bar brand in 2014, joining the CDG management team a year later, when Las Iguanas was merged into the wider group.
International & Concessions
Mark leads CDG’s international franchise arm, which has seen the Bella Italia, Las Iguanas and Café Rouge brands launch in India and the Middle East respectively. Mark brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, and is a former MD of Elior UK. His responsibilities also include Belgo, concessions, overseeing CDG’s restaurants in UK airports and holiday park destinations, such as Center Parcs.
Simon joined CDG following the 2015 acquisition of La Tasca where he was previously CEO. He now oversees new efforts aimed at growing CDG. Simon has a long track record in leadership positions within hospitality, and was formerly chief executive of LTR Grupo de Restaurantes, chief operating officer at Kuwaiti-owned Kout Food Group, and managing director at Paramount Restaurants. He spent the first 10 years of his career operating 5-star hotels in London and the Caribbean.
Chief Customer Officer
Célia is responsible for driving a profitable customer experience, overseeing marketing and digital business transformation with the objective of further commercialising the business across all functions. She has previously worked in marketing, E-commerce and multi-channel roles in organisations including Ford Retail, Unilever, Rank Group, InterContinental Hotels Group, STA Travel and Bookatable; with specific expertise in developing digital transformation strategies in complex multi-channel and omni-channel consumer businesses.
Group Property Director
David is responsible for all property matters, including all major refurbishments, new site development and property maintenance. Previously he was Property Director at Novus Leisure, and has held senior roles at Spirit Group Limited, Scottish & Newcastle and Greenalls Group.
Group Procurement Director
Simon oversees Procurement, Supply Chain and Food Technology across all CDG brands. He previously worked in the Supermarket, Oil & Gas and Foodservice industry, with experience in Operations, Marketing, Buying, Category Management, Quality & Innovation and Strategy. Prior to joining CDG he held a number of senior management roles at Sainsbury’s, BP International, Whitbread and Morrisons. Simon is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.