Restaurant chain TGI Friday's has poached a leading executive from pub group Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) to head up its UK operation.
Karen Forrester, divisional director at M&B, has been appointed as UK managing director at the group, which was sold for £70.4m by Whitbread to Carlson Restaurants Worldwide and private equity firm AAC Capital Partners in March.
Forrester, who joins on December 3 after 15 years at M&B, will spearhead a brand revamp at TGI, encompassing a new service model and a newly designed menu.
"TGI Friday's has always been one of the most respected brands in the UK and I couldn't be more pleased to become part of the team," she said today.
"Everything about Friday's is exciting, and I am very much looking forward to leading this great brand."
Ricky Richardson, vice-president international operations at Carlson, who has been acting managing director, said: "Karen's passion for the guest and team members, as well as her high operational standards, makes her a perfect fit for the managing director position.
"Karen is truly a world-class restaurateur and business leader and I look forward to having her on our team."
TGI Friday's entered the UK in 1986 with its first outlet in Birmingham and currently operates 45 restaurants across the UK.
By Daniel Thomas
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