Luke Johnson, the former Pizza Express and Channel 4 chairman, has acquired a majority stake in Yes Dining, marking his first foray into the contract catering sector of hospitality.
Yes Dining was previously owned by the Bright Futures Group (BFG), the former parent company of Restaurants at Work and Jill Bartlett, which were acquired by BaxterStorey last year after they collapsed into administration.
The change in ownership of Yes Dining has also resulted in a change in name, with the announcement that the company will trade as the Genuine Dining Co from next month.
According to managing director Chris Mitchell the new name aims to reflect the caterer's commitment to using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.
Johnson, chairman of private equity house Risk Capital Partners, also owns majority stakes in Feng Sushi and Ego/Rocket and is perhaps best known for taking Pizza Express from 12 restaurants to more than 250 in just six years.
He said of his latest investment: "I am hugely encouraged by Chris and his team's determination to offer something unique within contract catering. Their focus on consistency, quality and top customer service is admirable.
"The expectation is that with our support and experience Genuine Dining can successfully grow into a niche contract caterer."
By Janie Stamford
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