Mike Tye has been appointed non-executive chairman of the Big Table, the restaurant company created through the purchase of Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas owner Casual Dining Group last month.
Tye is currently chairman of motorway services group Moto Hospitality and holiday park firm the Haulfryn Group as well as being vice-chairman of Prostate Cancer UK. He is former chief executive of Spirit Group and recently stepped down as a non-executive director of the Restaurant Group.
In his new role he will work with private equity firm Epiris, which was behind the acquisition of Casual Dining Group, as well as chief executive James Spragg and chief financial officer Adrian Walker.
Tye said: "With a talented management team in place and supportive, experienced investors, the Big Table represents an exceptional opportunity to build a first-class UK restaurant business. These are challenging times, but this is a strong business with brands that are popular with customers, and it is well placed to overcome the current uncertainty and deliver growth over the years ahead."
Epiris managing partner Alex Fortescue said: "We're delighted to be working with Mike. There are very few individuals in the UK leisure and hospitality market with Mike's accomplishments, standing and experience, and we are confident he will be a tremendous asset to James and the team at the Big Table."
Casual Dining Group fell into administration in early July, immediately announcing the closure of 91 of its 250 sites, with the loss of 1,909 jobs. Epiris bought it out of administration in a deal that saved more than 4,000 jobs across the UK.
Epiris is understood to have made a significant cash injection into the business and pledged future funding. Around 140 sites have so far reopened following the Covid-19 lockdown.