Living Room managing director Danny Fox has announced he is quitting the company following Orchid Group's acquisition of 43 Premium Bars & Restaurants (PBR) sites.
Fox, who started up the restaurant and bar chain in 1999 is leaving 'to pursue other opportunities within the industry' but will remain with Orchid temporarily to ensure a smooth handover to his replacement, Darren Traynor who has been appointed head of operation for the Living Room and Prohibition brands.
Orchid acquired 43 PBR sites, of which 13 are under the Living Room brand, in December 2009. PBR's sites had been run by administrators BDO since August 2009 after a £52m buy-out deal with the Reuben Brothers fell through and failed to save it.
Time to move on Fox told BigHospitality he felt it was the right time to move on. "There's no real equity in it for me any longer. I sold it to PBR and then selling it on again meant it was the right time to go. I need to keep an eye on the pension fund so it is time to make that big step into something new. “I’ve learnt a lot from developing The Living Room and had a great time doing it. It’s a fantastic brand and I’m happy to leave it in the capable hands of Orchid Pubs & Dining. Orchid is well placed to pick up the reins and their expertise will no doubt take The Living Room forward.” Fox said he was exploring some 'exciting opportunities' and was looking into a new business that was 'primarily food based'. Orchid plans Orchid chief executive Rufus Hall, who said in an interview with BigHospitality in December that The Living Room was one of PBR's brands that Orchid would definitely be keeping, said he appreciated Fox's support. “We wish Danny every future success," he added. In March Orchid will welcome Peach's Paul Cutsforth onto its board. Cutsforth, who joined Peach pub company as director of operations in February 2009, announced he would be leaving the 13-strong group in December to pursue the new opportunity with Orchid. Orchid plans to roll out a £3m capital investment programme across the estate over the next 12 months.