After nine years at the helm, founder and CEO Ben Fordham is fulfilling along-term promise to his Texan wife to move with the family to the US. He will remain involved at board level and provide support to Pearson and finance director Georgina Stevens, who was appointed earlier this year.
The group recently secured its first site outside London - in Oxford - and reported its highest profit for several years.
The fast casual burrito space is one of the sector’s most competitive, with a number of broadly comparable brands currently vying for position in UK high streets and shopping centres including Tortilla, Chilango, Barburrito, Mission Burrito and US import Chipotle Mexican Grill.
It is hoped Pearson will oversee the rapid expansion of the Benito’s Hat Restaurant Group, with further high street and smaller format venues planned for 2018. Benito’s Hat currently operates restaurants in Covent Garden, Oxford Circus, Goodge Street, Farringdon, King’s Cross, Bromley and, as of the 24 October, Oxford Westgate.
Fordham and Pearson will work together throughout November and December, before Pearson takes the reins at the beginning of 2018.