Dim sum chain Ping Pong has appointed former La Tasca boss James Horler as non-executive chairman.

The group, which operates 11 restaurants in the UK, as well as five in the USA, Brazil and Dubai has brought Horler on board to drive the business forward.

Ping Pong managing director Jean-Michel Orieux said: "We are pleased to welcome James, who will add a different dimension to our thinking and much experience of successfully developing restaurant businesses. We have an exciting future."

Horler added: "I am delighted to be joining Ping Pong at an important stage in its development. Ping Pong is a great concept, fusing the culinary delights of the East and an informal dining experience. I hope to give the group the benefit of my experience and guide it through the next stage of its development."

Horler built up and ultimately sold the 70-strong Spanish tapas chain La Tasca, although he didn't create it. He was executive chairman of the now eight-strong Ego Restaurants group. Since its merger in March 2011 with the three-strong family-owned Rocket Restaurants, he has become chief executive of the new umbrella group, 3Sixty Restaurants. Annualised sales are now expected to be £12m. He is also non-executive Chairman of Charterhouse Leisure, the umbrella company for Coal Bar & Grill and Seven Shed.

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By Kerstin Kühn

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