Former Jamie Oliver group CEO joins TRG's newly combined leisure and concessions arm

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Former Jamie Oliver group CEO Jon Knight joins TRG's newly combined leisure and concessions arm

Related tags: The restaurant group, Jamie oliver group, Coronavirus

Former Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group chief executive Jon Knight has joined The Restaurant Group (TRG) as managing director of leisure and concessions.

Knight - who led the Jamie Oliver group through a company voluntary arrangement in 2018, before seeing the business fall into administration in May last year - will be working under the leadership of Mark Chambers, who took over TRG’s leisure arm earlier this year.

TRG, which owns the Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s brands, says it has taken the decision to combine the operations of the leisure division and the concessions operations, under the leadership of Chambers.

A spokesperson for TRG said: “Jonathan Knight is reporting to Mark and is responsible for the day to day operations of the units across the newly combined Leisure and Concessions operations. 

“Nick Ayerst left the business two weeks ago, and TRG thanks him sincerely for his very considerable contributions over 14 years at the company”.

Last month TRG announced a raft of measures​ designed to get it through the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, including more flexible banking facilities and executive pay cuts.

It has also laid out what it describes as a “pessimistic scenario” for the current financial year (to 31 March 2021) that would see around 400 of its 600 sites open by December​. 

The model assumes all TRG restaurants and pubs will remain closed until the end of June, with subsequent social distancing measures leading to a slow recovery in footfall during the rest of the financial year. 

Earlier this week it was announced that Wagamama was reopening four of its dark kitchen sites​, which will form part of a ‘test and learn approach’ for the business, with a further rollout dependent on feedback received from staff and customers. 

Meanwhile, TRG’s Mexican-focused casual dining chain Chiquito looks set to be one of the big restaurant groups to collapse amid the Coronavirus shutdown, after filing a notice of intention to appoint administrators​ in late March.

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