Williams took over from Gaucho’s previous CEO Oliver Meakin who stepped down in September.
The company, which comprises 16 restaurants, exited administration yesterday having been acquired by Lomo Bidco, an entity owned by Investec Bank PLC and SC Lowy. It has already sold all sites of its sister brand Cau, which was loss-making and contributed heavily to the failure of the company.
Williams, who is also a former Gaucho managing director, will oversee the company’s transition out of its troubled phase, beginning with the appointments of a number of new and experienced managerial staff.
Plans for the new restaurant include refurbishment of its restaurants to give each site its own identity, and new menus.
Launched this week, the new menu includes a ‘nuevo’ section of lighter, less meaty dishes to appeal to a wider clientele. New dishes include red prawn tiradito with pickled cucumber; pearl barley arriabiatta; grilled swordfish with bean cassoulet; and seared scallops with blood pudding.
The group’s signature steaks are still available, but serving them alongside the new menu innovations is intended to mirror the “innovation, modernity and style” of Latin America today.
The restaurant has scheduled a programme of events to launch the new chapter for the group. A series of pop ups will be held with a rotating roster of respected Latin American chefs.
Gaucho’s CVA preceded its acquisition of the group by Lomo Bidco, which was approved by 99% of its creditors and saved over 700 jobs.
“Investec and SC Lowy believe Gaucho is a great business and a brand which can be taken to new heights,” says Williams.
“The future of Gaucho will embrace the heritage of the brand and its 24 years as a UK institution and simultaneously partner with and be inspired by the most modern world-class innovators of food and drink who are taking both Latin America and the world by storm.
“In an incredibly challenging environment for the restaurant sector, it is fantastic to be heading up both M and Gaucho – I am delighted that I have the best talent in UK Hospitality working with me in both companies and proud that we will be delivering outstanding experiences for the increasingly discerning diners of the UK.”