Itsu, the Julian Metcalfe-founded, Asian-inspired brand, has appointed Phil Derbyshire, formerly of the Casual Dining Group (CDG), as its new group property director, MCA has learnt.

Derbyshire stepped down as group property director of CDG earlier this year after 15 years with the company. He also had stints at Whitbread and TGI Friday

He joins the Ivan Schofield-led, c70-strong brand as it targets eight to 10 openings this year.

On Derbyshire’s experience and appointment, Schofield said: “This journey has given him deep experience in all of the challenges we are facing: national brand roll-out, construction cost optimisation, estate management, shop refurbishment as well as strategic partnerships both in the UK and internationally

“Phil is one of the most experienced, seasoned and well connected property professionals in the UK. I am delighted to welcome him to the Itsu family. We are excited to have Phil on board, he has an exceptional pedigree, a great track record and will further strengthen the Itsu Executive team. Phil’s knowledge will be invaluable to us as we continue to grow across the UK and explore new routes to market.”