Sam Shutt has stepped down as managing director of Philpotts, the artisan sandwich chain owned by Patisserie Holdings, to join Debenhams, MCA understands.

Shutt had been overseeing the 22-strong company since last June when he took over from Lisa Brook, who subsequently joined Muffin Break-owner Foodco UK.

Shutt has joined Debenhams as its new head of external brands – food, tasked with developing relationships with existing concessions operators, including Patisserie Valerie and Costa, and forging new ones.

In June, Franco Manca signed a partnership with Debenhams to open a concession unit at the department store operator’s Westfield White City site.

The new partnership is part of Debenhams plans to open a further 30 food concession offers by October.

In a trading update this summer, the company said: “Our plan to increase casual dining options across the Debenhams store estate is making good progress, with a further 30 food offers planned to open by the autumn, so that approximately 40% of our stores will have a new food offer by Christmas 2016.

Revenue from Philpotts for the year to 31 March 2016, stood at £4.9m, a decrease of £0.1m (2015: £5.0m) which parent company Patisserie Holdings said was partly due to an earlier Easter period and partly due to a focus on higher margin corporate sales.