Chilango has appointed Wagamama’s chief operating officer Nigel Sherwood to the board as a non-executive director.

The 14-strong Mexican-inspired chain is looking to embark on a new chapter of growth, with a pipeline of openings in place for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022.

Following successful regional openings in Manchester, Reading and, most recently, Brighton, Chilango is looking to build its footprint in other regional locations in addition to finding new sites in London.

Sherwood, who is continuing in his COO role at the TRG-owned chain, was previously managing director at Shake Shack, and has held senior positions at Nando’s and Pizza Hut UK.

He joins Chilango’s new owners to drive the business forward, alongside managing director Richard Franks, after it was acquired out of administration by to RDCP Group, an investment firm run by Sameer Rizvi and Iryna Dubylovska, in August last year.

Chilango is also currently recruiting for a new head of people and culture in order to strengthen its senior management team.

Commenting on his appointment, Sherwood said: “I am delighted to be involved in yet another business with so much potential. I have been impressed with Chilango’s performance in recent months, especially in the midst of a pandemic, and I look forward to supporting Sameer, Iryna, Richard and the team in their ambitious plans for the future.”

Rizvi, founder and CEO of RDCP Group, added: “Wagamama is a leader in the UK hospitality sector, and we feel massively fortunate to have Nigel Sherwood join our board. Nigel has tons of experience in taking a mid-sized hospitality chain such as Chilango and helping it grow into a market leader.”

The business recently opened a digital-only store in Boxpark Croydon, which it said had been “a huge success” and has been serving as a test bed for further digital growth and development.