Glyn House, who earlier this year stepped down as chief operating officer at Wagamama, is to join Caffe Nero, MCA has learnt.

It is understood that House, who spent 10 years at Wagamama after previously being with Sainsbury’s for 21 years, will take over from Neil Riding, the coffee chain’s current UK managing director, who is believed to be retiring.

Riding, the former managing director of TGI Friday’s UK and Beefeater Restaurants, joined Caffe Nero in 2011.

Caffe Nero currently operates c570 sites and has ambitions to grow to c750 in the UK.

Earlier this year, it acquired the 43-strong Harris + Hoole business from Tesco.

On the back of the acquisition, Gerry Ford, chairman and chief executive of Caffe Nero, told MCA that the company had been “toying” with having a second brand for some time.

He said: “Harris + Hoole has a good tradition of high quality coffee and good momentum. We thought if we could get some good equity from that brand and make it run more effectively maybe it would be a jump start to another organisation that would be beneficial to our existing business.”

Ford said it was too early to say what Nero would learn from Harris + Hoole’s business, such as its higher food mix, or visa versa. On expansion he said: “You wouldn’t want to put them next to each other, but I don’t think they would cannabalise each other if you had them in a shopping mall - there is room enough for both of them.”