Bristol-based café/bar operator Loungers has made Nick Collins its managing director, as current managing director and co-founder Alex Reilley becomes executive vice-chairman.
The move comes as Justin Carter joins as chief operating officer, taking over Collins' former role.
Collins joined Loungers in January 2012 as finance director before stepping up to become the groups' first chief operating officer in January 2014. Previous to joining Loungers, Collins had been the finance director at Capital Pub Company, up to the point it was sold to Greene King in 2011, and prior to that he had been co-founder and managing director of gourmet sandwich chain Fuzzy's Grub.
Collins said: "I am delighted to be taking over from Alex and very much look forward to leading Loungers, and our two great brands, as the business continues to grow. It is an exciting time for the Loungers with this year's 20 targeted openings largely secured, the pipeline beyond 2015 looking very encouraging, and with the overall potential for in excess of 350 Lounges and 70 Cosy Clubs in the UK. Working with Justin, alongside Alex and Jake [Bishop, co-founder], I look forward to continuing to drive the underlying Loungers principles of great hospitality, value for money, fantastic interiors and the strong Loungers people culture that has served the business so well to date."
New executive vice-chairman, Alex Reilley added: "I'm really thrilled for Nick and firmly believe he will make an excellent MD. His appointment has been part of a succession plan we've been working on for over a year now and with Nick's ascension, coupled with Justin joining the business, we believe we now have a seriously strong management team that is capable of running a very large business indeed. The future, and the potential of what we can achieve, is very exciting".
Earlier this week, Loungers reported record sales in the month of December as net sales for the (calendar) month exceeded £5m. The group posted a 47.8% increase in year-on-year sales to £5.12m in a period which saw like-for-like sales increase by 3.5%. It is understood that the Cosy Club brand performed particularly strongly with the group's eight Cosy Club sites accounting for just over 30% of group sales in December.
Loungers has also reported that like-for-like sales for last week (w/e 4 January) were up 11.8% with sales on New Year's Day significantly up by 22.7% like-for-like.