Zizzi boss Jones to join Caffe Nero
15 June, 2012
Zizzi's managing director Helen Jones is to leave the Italian restaurant chain to head up international expansion and consumer product development at Caffe Nero. The news comes as Nero signs a new joint venture deal in Poland.
Caffè Nero, which now has 500 stores in the UK and 60 stores internationally, has set up a joint venture with Green Coffee in Poland. The first store, under the Green Caffè Nero brand opened Warsaw this week.
Jones will join Nero later on this year as Executive Director to drive the group's further expansion into international markets and to develop a consumer products division. Before joining Zizzi she was European brand director at Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, where she was responsible for European expansion strategy for more than 15 years. Since 2009, she has been managing director of Zizzi and has played a key role in the expansion of Zizzi, opening 22 new restaurants and transforming a further 56, and introducing a range of new programmes. Zizzi currently operates 123 restaurants.
Jones appointment comes less than a year after Neil Riding was appointed as Caffè Nero's UK managing director. Domestically Nero is opening around 50 new stores a year. Both Riding and Jones will report into Gerry Ford, Caffe Nero's chairman and chief executive, who said: “Helen has an unusual combination of experience, having managed at a senior level both in consumer products businesses and in the restaurant sector. Her appointment means we can continue to progress our international expansion, while not losing focus on growing the UK business."
The joint venture between Caffè Nero and Green Coffee will create a new jointly owned business that will initially see the rebranding of Green Coffee's nine stores in Warsaw before launching on further expansion. Ford said: "We want to create a new style of coffee house in Poland and this partnership is a step towards achieving that.”
In the year ended 31 May 2012, Caffè Nero opened 85 stores worldwide. Current revenue is £184 m and EBITDA is approximately £32m. Like for like growth over the last 12 months was 3.5%.
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