Gary Usher's Elite Bistros business has announced several changes to its senior management team, including the appointment of a new managing director.
Former training and compliance manager Matt Shaw (pictured right with Usher) has been promoted to managing director, while Claire Wright, who previously held the role, has moved into a head of finance role. Usher said Wright remained "paramount to the business".
Meanwhile, Richard Sharples remains executive chef with as Ryan Howarth group head chef, and events and sales manager Ashley Whittingham-Orford has moved into operations.
"Matt and I have known each other for 20 years now. Matt was originally my head chef in a restaurant and we've kept in touch and followed each other's careers with great interest," said Usher.
Shaw's career history has seen him part own and operate three restaurants in the South Manchester area and was head of hospitality at Trafford & Stockport College.
"Matt brings such a wealth of experience into this position and such a level of professionalism which I've always admired about Matt. He's ambitious like I am. He's keen to get this business running in the best way possible for the most prosperous future for all of us. Already he's made some amazing changes within the group and it's really exciting to see," said Usher.
He added: "We're in a positive position, we are looking forward to the future and with these changes we're excited to see what happens."
Elite Bistros opened its latest venue and first pub, the White Horse in Churton, near Chester, last month, after the team crowdfunded more than £200,000.
Elite Bistros sites include Sticky Walnut in Hoole, Chester, which opened in 2011; Burnt Truffle in Heswall on the Wirral, which opened in July 2015; Hispi in Didsbury, south Manchester; Wreckfish in Liverpool; Pinion in Prescot; and Kala in Manchester, which opened in 2019. All sites apart from Sticky Walnut were crowdfunded. Usher also won the 2021 Restaurateur of the Year – Independent Catey.