Paul Jackson, newly appointed managing director of restaurant and event catering business Searcys, has said it is a "very challenging time" but that he sees opportunities in the "phenomenal" brand's future.
With the timetable for unlocking events having been stalled once again by government, the business is limited in what it has been able to reopen, but its commercial bars and restaurants have started to welcome guests once again.
Jackson, who joined the business on 1 July, taking the position previously held by Matt Thomas, said London remained challenging, with sites performing at 20%-25% of what would have previously been expected.
Last week's announcement of more stringent restrictions following an increase in cases has caused "renewed nervousness", Jackson confirms, but he has been inspired by the returning teams and reopenings continue, with the company's Helix at the Gherkin restaurant in the City of London set to follow next.
The new managing director has joined the company after holding the same position at Portico, which, like Searcys, sits under parent company WSH. He previously held positions as managing director of event caterer Ampersand and operations director of CH&Co.
Commenting on his appointment Jackson said: "Searcys is a phenomenal brand that has been active in this industry since 1847. It has so much heritage and is quintessentially English and to see it continue to grow is my drive from here. It holds a lot of respect in the industry and I have a great responsibility to keep that going, but we are very positive and optimistic about the opportunities of the future."
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