Island Poké appoints Nicolas Barnoin as managing director

13 October 2022 by
Island Poké appoints Nicolas Barnoin as managing director

Nicolas Barnoin has been appointed as managing director of Island Poké.

The former chief operating officer of Famously Proper, who oversaw the operation of 23 sites across the Byron and Mother Clucker brands, will be taking on the role from 31 October. Prior to that, he had spent 20 years at Itsu, firstly as general manager and later as shops director, managing over 70 restaurants.

This summer, Island Poké surpassed its 2019 sales by 6% – a record for the brand since it launched in 2016. The company has been rapidly expanding its network of franchise partners, which Barnoin will be developing further as managing director, with 80 franchise-led sites across the UK due to open in the next five years, including sites in Scotland, Cambridge, Birmingham and Bristol scheduled to launch later this year.

Barnoin aims to bolster both domestic and international growth by working closely with founder James Gould-Porter, focusing particularly on the expansion of Island Poké in France, where the estate plans to expand from 12 to 32 sites over the next three years. It opened its first French site in 2020.

Barnoin said: "It's great to be joining Island Poké as managing director at such a pivotal moment in its expansion. The ‘healthy quick-service restaurant' market in the UK is on the verge of breaking through into the mainstream and the talented Island Poké team are at the very forefront of this trend with a brand that customers adore and a product that is both healthy as well as nutritious and doesn't compromise on taste.

"Island Poké is on an exciting growth journey and I am looking forward to joining such a vibrant brand and work alongside James, the team and our franchise partners (current and future) to further drive its expansion and deliver new locations across the UK, Europe and beyond"

Gould-Porter added: "We're excited to welcome Nicolas to our Island Poké Ohana as our new managing director. Nicolas has a breadth of industry knowledge and his expertise will be a key asset in our growth plans as we look to bring Island Poké to more customers up and down the country."

The brand currently has 31 restaurants across the UK and France, as well as a residency in Bicester Village in Oxfordshire.

Island Poké is part of the White Rabbit Projects group, which has brands including Lina Stores and Kricket, and Hero Brands group, which includes German Doner Kebab and Dirty Bones in its portfolio.

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