Laurel Pub Company has reorganised its operating divisions to concentrate on growing its food business, less than a year after its last major shake-up.

Newly installed chief executive Paul Symonds, who replaced former boss Julian Sargeson who quit in May, said he “wanted to make the business really fly”.

Sweeping away Sargeson’s changes, the Circuit and Town Local divisions have been merged to form a new Pubs and Bars division, with 300 outlets split geographically into three areas – North, Midlands and South.

It will be headed by managing director Toby Smith who joins the company from Spirit where he was an executive.

Quality Food will be split into Slug & Lettuce and Ha! Ha! Bar & Canteen. Mary Sharp, Quality Food’s managing director, will assume the same role at Slug. Laurel plans to recruit a new head for Ha! Ha! sometime next month.

Symonds, who was managing director of Spirit’s Pubs and Bars division before joining Laurel, said: “The reorganisation will provide the single minded management and marketing focus we need.”

To drive food sales commercial director Suzanne Baker has appointed Perry Huntley as head of food development. Huntley was food development manager at Mitchells & Butlers.

Laurel Pub Company appoints first commercial director >>

Laurel Pub Company boss quits role >>

Laurel owner Robert Tchenguiz abandons attempt to buy Mitchells & Butlers >>

Senior appointments at Laurel >>

Laurel pubs look to food for growth potential >>

By Chris Druce

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