In an impassioned message on LinkedIn, Arana-Morton says he is looking for a person that can help take the casual dining brand from 12 sites to 30 next year – or in his words: “I need someone to help me fly this plane through 2021 and land it at ‘30 Caf Airport.’”
“I know I’m not the person that can take a business from 12 to 30, my sweet spot was 6 cafs,” he adds.
In the message he says he doesn’t believe he is up for the job on his own and that he felt the pressure of running a business that employed more than 300 staff during the pandemic.
So, first things first, a bit of honesty. I need an MD because I’m not quite good enough for us right now. In fact I haven’t been quite up to it for a few years,” he writes.
“What 2020 showed me is the weight of responsibility that comes with having the livelihoods of 340 people and their families on your shoulders. You can never take that responsibility lightly. There comes a time when you realise they deserve better than you.
Arana-Morton describes his business as “bloody wonderful” with “off the scale huge” potential but say he needs someone to realise that potential.
“Tell me a brand that occupies a space so magnificently and so unequivocally theirs. We are a Caf. Not a cafe, not a shop, not a branch, not a unit, not a restaurant, just a caf. But what a Caf!
“But it’s not only that, it’s a business with a huge heart, it’s community focus has not just been sector leading but all industry leading and I can talk your ears off about this when we meet.”
The Breakfast Club runs12 profitable, successful venues, according to Arana-Morton, but he says he feels like the business is currently in a holding pattern. “When this plane should be supercharged, I’ve flown it round in circles.”
The restaurant group was founded by Arana-Morton in Soho in 2005. It introduced a refreshed look and brand identity when it came out of lockdown in July, moving away from its 80s-themed décor.
Last year Draft House founder Charlie McVeigh was appointed chairman to help the group’s expansion.