Claire Wright has been promoted to managing director of Gary Usher's five-site strong Elite Bistro's of the World restaurant group.
The former financial director (pictured) takes up the position with immediate effect.
Chef-proprietor Usher, who is continuing to grow his group of restaurants in the north west, said: "For the last three years behind the scenes, Claire has been at the forefront of everything we do. Claire's initial role was to take care of the accounts, however, within a matter of months she totally changed the direction of the business.
"Claire made sure that my ambitious, sometimes reckless, expansion plans were backed up with careful planning and meticulous financial scrutiny. I am so proud that she has accepted the position of managing director, which can only enhance and compliment the group as we move forward."
Elite Bistro's of the World recently opened its fifth restaurant Pinion in Prescot after a successful crowdfunding campaign raised £50,000 in less than an hour and is planning to open its sixth site, Kala, in Manchester in February 2019.
Wright said: "The last few years have been an absolute whirlwind, but working with Gary and his exceptional team is, and continues to be, a fantastic experience. There are incredibly exciting times ahead and I couldn't be happier to take on the new role."