Whitbread has hired Wimpy marketing director Katherine Young to oversee a rebranding of its struggling Bella Pasta restaurant chain.
As marketing director, Young will be in charge of revamping the chain, which has seen like-for-like sales drop 0.9% in the past six months. Last month, Whitbread axed ten under-performing Bella Pasta sites.
Young has been responsible for overhauling the Wimpy restaurants, in a strategy which the UK burger chain hopes will turn around its outdated image (Marketing, October 4).
The revamp includes a new logo, redesigned outlets, and alcohol and luxury coffee ranges. Young became marketing director of Wimpy in 1998, following five years as marketing manager. Wimpy has not yet replaced her.
At Whitbread, she replaces Helen Reid, a freelance marketer who was working for Bella Pasta on a temporary contract.
The Bella Pasta overhaul is part of a major shake-up of Whitbread restaurant brands, which include TGI Friday's, Beefeater, Cafe Rouge and Pizza Hut, following its decision to sell off its brewing interests. Its plans include re-branding 80 out-of-town Beefeater sites as 'Out and Out' and 90 as 'Banter', and axing 30 Cafe Rouge sites.