Robert Cook resigns as CEO of Fridays owner Hostmore

By Restaurant

- Last updated on GMT

Robert Cook resigns as CEO of Fridays owner Hostmore

Related tags Fridays Hostmore R200 Multi-site Casual dining 63rd+1st

Robert Cook has stepped down as CEO of Fridays owner Hostmore with immediate effect.

The Hostmore board has started a search process of both internal and external candidates to find his replacement, with Julie McEwan, chief operating officer at Fridays, appointed interim CEO.

“I wish to extend my sincere gratitude and thanks to the board and the executive team for their support in my three years at the helm, and, most importantly, to thank all the team in the restaurants who pull on the red and white stripes every day and do such a sterling job for the brand,” says Cook.

Cook became CEO of Fridays in 2019 and later headed up Hostmore when it was created in 2021 after a demerger by Electra Private Equity.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Robert for his efforts as CEO over the past three years, particularly in steering the business through the Covid pandemic and in rebuilding the executive team, and we wish him well for the future,” says Gavin Manson, chairman of Hostmore.

“We are pleased that Julie has accepted the role of interim CEO, given her strong sector experience and operational strengths. Together, we look forward to focusing on the group’s priorities and building on its strengths in the weeks and months ahead.”

McEwan joined Fridays in February 2022 from Big Table, where she was most recently brand director at Las Iguanas. She has also held management roles at Spirit Pub Company, Premier Inn, and Whitbread.

In an update on trading for the financial year ended 1 January 2023 and the December 2022 period, Hostmore, which also operates the 63rd + 1st restaurant brand and quick service spinoff Fridays and Go, reported like-for-like revenues for the 26 weeks to 1 January 2023 were 14% below the comparative period in 2019.

Revenue in December 2022 was £21.3m, a slight increase on December 2021’s figure of £21.2m.

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