Jim Bishop has joined UK-wide burrito brand Barburrito as new head of property as the company seeks to double its estate in the next two years.
Bishop joins with significant acquisitions and development experience, having previously worked at supermarket giant Sainsbury's, and brewing company Scottish & Newcastle (now Star Pubs & Bars).
He will oversee the next phase of the 11-strong company's expansion, which is expected to increase to more than 20 stores by 2017. The new locations will likely be in high-footfall areas including major city centres, shopping centres, and travel hubs, with the business having previously stated it would be keen to focus on London.
Commenting on his appointment, Bishop said: "I am absolutely delighted to have joined the team at Barburrito. We will be looking for sites in a variety of locations with flexible size requirements and believe we can offer landlords and developers a fantastic brand and a great investment."
Chief executive of Barburrito Morgan Davies said: "We started the great burrito race, opening the UK's first burrito bar back in 2005. With Jim on board as our new head of property, and with secured funds in place from the Business Growth Fund, we are now ready to ramp up our expansion plans. We put a lot of effort into recruiting the right person for this role and I am delighted that Jim has joined the team."
First opened in 2005 by Davies and business partner Paul Kilpatrick, Barburrito now runs to 11 sites across Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Nottingham, and London. Its food includes classic Mexican-style varieties such as burritos with lime rice, beans, and a choice of meat, plus salsa and guacamole. The menu also features tacos, nachos, tortilla chips, iced tea, soda and Mexican beer.
This is the latest stated expansion drive for the company, after it announced plans in 2012 to triple its number of sites with a £3.25m investment from the Business Growth Fund. In May 2014 it received another £3.6m investment from the BGF, intended to allow it to roll out the brand further.