The Breakfast Club restaurant group has hired Steve Locke, co-founder of cocktail chain Be At One, as its interim managing director.
Locke launched Be At One in 1998 and helped the business grow to 33 sites before its £50m sale to Stonegate Pub Company in 2018.
He joins the Breakfast Club after its founder Jonathan Arana-Morton put out an open call for applications on LinkedIn in November.
Arana-Morton, who founded the business in 2005, said he was unable to help the restaurant group "realise its potential" and grow to 30 sites.
"When this plane should be supercharged, I've flown it round in circles," he said.
Breakfast Club, known for its long queues, currently runs 10 London locations and one each in Brighton and Oxford.
Announcing Locke's appointment on LinkedIn, Arana-Morton said: "I stress, this appointment is initially on an interim basis so Steve can help us plot our way through the next few months and fly out of the post-pandemic traps. We haven't closed the door on a long-term permanent appointment.
"But for now, I'm extremely excited at the idea of getting my head down, working hard and very much looking forward to the next stage of all this, building the nation's best loved cafe."
In 2019 Breakfast Club said it was looking to expand after negotiating a further facility with Santander.
The company reported sales of £15.7m and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £744,000 in the year to March 2019.