Venners, the Christie Group-owned auditing and consultancy firm, has promoted James Shanks to head its food consultancy arm.

The company said it began creating a new suite of services that analyses food costs, identifies operational shortfalls and highlights causes of margin erosion in a food-led environment in 2012.

It said that Shanks has extensive experience in hotels, restaurants and as a licensee, 10-plus years of auditing “all kinds of hospitality businesses throughout the UK”; and has spent a further 10 years as operations manager for Venners.

Trevor Heyburn, managing director of Venners, said: “James has been heavily involved since its inception. He and his team are incredibly passionate about the business of hospitality and are providing an amazing return on investment for our customers.”