Loungers names former SSP director to head Cozy Club chain
- Lucy Knowles to become CEO of all-day dining brand
- Cozy Club has 35 establishments in the main towns and cities of Great Britain
- Loungers posted record turnover last year thanks to new venues opening
Appointment: Lucy Knowles to become the new managing director of Cozy Club, an all-day restaurant chain owned by Loungers
Loungers has appointed a former marketing director for takeaway food retailer SSP to manage its Cozy Club brand.
Lucy Knowles will become CEO of the all-day restaurant chain, which has 35 outlets in Britain’s major towns and cities.
She will join this September as a replacement for Amber Wood, who held the role for six years before leaving to join New World Trading Company, an Alderley Edge-based hospitality company, as COO.
Knowles previously worked for caterer Holroyd Howe, London-based wine bar operator Corney & Barrow, and SSP, the owner of Upper Crust and Caffe Ritazza.
While at SSP, he led brand and menu innovation for more than 150 brands and brought in multiple new global brand concepts, according to Loungers.
His arrival at Cozy Club will come just before the chain prepares to open its next location in Oxford, which is part of Loungers’ plans to open at least 30 more locations per year.
Last month the firm declared it would launch a record number of new outlets in fiscal 2024, including its first in the north-east of England, and had identified at least 600 potential venues to expand its Loungers brand.
Nick Collins, CEO of Loungers, said Knowles’ “impressive operational and leadership experience, along with his wealth of experience evolving brands, food and concepts, will bring a tremendous amount of value to our team.”
“Cozy Club is well positioned as we continue to open new sites and outperform the market, and I am excited for the future of the brand under Lucy’s leadership.”
Last month, Loungers credited venue openings and the absence of Covid-related restrictions for annual turnover rising by 19 per cent to a record £283.5m for the year ending April 16.
During the period, the group opened its first roadside restaurant under the Brightside brand opposite Exeter Racecourse, where motorists can stop for popular “comfort-style” dishes such as burgers, pizza and spaghetti and meatballs.
However, operating profit was almost halved to £14.75m due to the end of publicly funded pandemic financial support, such as the temporary reduction of the VAT rate in the hospitality sector.
Sunbeds was also affected by higher wage costs during the first half of the year, although it managed to offset the increase in food and beverage expenses through price hikes.
sunbeds actions they were 0.4 per cent, or 0.7 pence, to 188.2 pence on Friday afternoon, but have fallen about 13 per cent in the last 12 months.