The Big Table, the recently-formed group that acquired and operates the Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas restaurant brands – and is majority-backed by private equity firm Epiris – has appointed Mike Tye as its non-executive chairman.
Tye will work closely with Epiris and senior management team headed up by CEO James Spragg and CFO Adrian Walker.
“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,” says Tye.
“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.”
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 PLC.
Additionally, he has led Costa Coffee, David Lloyd Leisure and Premier Travel Inn, and also sits on the council of UKHospitality.
“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,” adds Epiris managing partner Alex Fortescue.
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, with around 140 sites now welcoming guests.
The remaining openings are planned for the coming weeks.