Spencer Ayers has stepped down as managing director of Frankie & Benny’s, the c250-strong, The Restaurant Group (TRG)-owned brand, MCA has learnt.

MCA understands that Ayers, who joined TRG last year, has left the business to become managing director - International Licensing & Development at Le Pain Quotidien

He had been overseeing the running of TRG’s c80-strong Chiquito brand since the departure earlier this summer of its managing director Jason Green.

It is thought Murray McGowan, formerly of Costa and KFC, who joined TRG earlier this year, in the newly created role of managing director across its leisure division, will now assume responsibility for both brands.

TRG appointed Ayers, a former operations director at the company, as the new managing director of its core Frankie & Benny’s brand, last August.

Ayers was formerly operations director at TRG for six years from 2004 to 2010 and until last summer based in Dubai working for Alshaya and Bateel International LLC.

Green had been with TRG since the start of 2007 and was previously an operations director at sister brand Frankie & Benny’s before becoming deputy managing director of Chiquito in July 2012. He became the Tex-Mex brand’s managing director in September 2014.

In his new role, McGowan, who joined TRG on 5 June, has been overseeing the turnaround of the group’s Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito and Coast to Coast brands.

The new role is enabling TRG chief executive Andy McCue to focus more time on growing the business.

In August, company said it was focused on restoring the Frankie & Benny’s value credentials, “deepening the distinctiveness of our offer to families and marketing to attract back lapsed customers”.