THIS WEEK: Whitbread beefs up food division

Whitbread has hired Mars’ former head of European marketing for petcare, Chris Green, as strategic marketing director for its restaurants and leisure division.

Whitbread has hired Mars’ former head of European marketing for petcare,

Chris Green, as strategic marketing director for its restaurants and

leisure division.



The appointment completes Whitbread’s senior marketing line-up,

replacing Steve Philpott, who left restaurants and leisure in November

1995 to head up Whitbread’s chain of David Lloyd leisure centres.



Green, who will start at Whitbread on July 8, left Mars less than a year

ago after a management shake-up which followed the merger of its

European petcare and main meals divisions into one business unit under

the name Master Brands.



According to a spokesman for Whitbread, Green will be involved in

marketing and advertising for Pizza Hut, Beefeater, TGI Friday and the

Thresher chain, with an annual advertising budget of around pounds 11m.

He will also be responsible for managing the expansion of the division

and the development of new retail concepts. Whitbread, already a major

player in the leisure industry, has made a number of significant

acquisitions in the last financial year, including the David Lloyd

Leisure business, Marriott Hotels in the UK and the Costa Coffee chain.



The company has not ruled out further acquisitions and is tipped to make

a bid for the famous Harry Ramsden chip shop chain.



The restaurant and leisure division, which returned a 34% increase in

profits to pounds 88m at its end of year results in May, is actively

seeking to expand its existing operations and announced on June 23 1996

that it will treble the size of its 20-strong TGI Friday restaurant

chain, with the addition of 42 new sites around the country.



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