In a statement, the business told BigHospitality's sister site MCA: ”Thunderbird, the premium fried chicken concept backed by Trispan, is to see a passing of the CEO baton from Marcel Khan to Paul Gilchrist by end of the year.
"Marcel Khan has worked with the founder Matt Harris supporting the fledgling brand for 12 months, building the team and business to five owned and operated sites in London.”
TriSpan operating partner and former YO! CEO Robin Rowland said: “We wish Marcel every success with his next move in the sector and we will miss his infectious and enthusiastic management."
Gilchrist spent six years at Mitchells & Butlers before joining Innventure as operations director.
He then spent two years as retail director at Brakspear before joining Carluccio’s as interim central project and productivity manager.
Private equity firm TriSpan backed Thunderbird in January.
At the time, Rowland said there was a “huge gap in the market for quality fried chicken and wings – a trend whose time has finally come. We’re pleased to have made our fifth investment from the Rising Stars fund, supporting a great product, brand, and team.”
Khan spent 10 years with Nando's before taking a key role in the expansion of US better burger brand Five Guys in the UK, France, Germany and Spain.
In April, Khan told MCA he planned to expand the Thunderbird concept outside London this year, saying “with the current property market the way it is, there are lots of great opportunities outside London.”
“We want to be street food, on high streets, we’d love to do something in travel hubs and a lovely shopping mall location would be good,” he added.
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