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Luke Johnson joins Gaucho as non-exec chairman

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Luke Johnson joins Gaucho as non-exec chairman
Written by:

Argentine steak restaurant group Gaucho has appointed Luke Johnson as its non-executive chairman.

Johnson is a serial entrepreneur in the hospitality and leisure sectors, and is currently chairman of Patisserie Holdings, Bread Holdings (owner of Gail’s), 3Sixty Restaurants, Feng Sushi, Draft House, Grand Union and Genuine Dining. Previously he was chairman of PizzaExpress, Giraffe and Strada.

Zeev Godik, chief executive of the Gaucho Group, said Johnson’s appointment, and his acquisition of a stake in the company, would bring new and highly respected expertise into the business. 

“Luke has been at the forefront of some of the most dynamic expansion programmes in hospitality. He has overseen over 500 restaurant and pub openings, more than any other individual in the sector, and his record in launching successful IPOs is second to none,” said Godik.

“His financial astuteness will be an invaluable asset for our own future plans, but what is equally important to us is a shared passion for the industry, his understanding of what makes a restaurant tick when it comes to quality, service and repeat business.”

Johnson said: “I am very excited to be working with Zeev and his team. I have been an admirer of Gaucho for many years, and look forward to helping with the expansion of the business. I see a great future for Gaucho and its new sibling CAU, both here and abroad, which is why I have invested a substantial sum in backing the business.”

Rumours surfaced in summer last year that Godik, who won the Restaurateur of the Year – Group Catey in 2012, planned to put the business up for sale. He was reported to have hired Canaccord Genuity to handle the sale with a likely asking price of £140m-£150m.

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