Odette Schwartz, who earlier this year stepped down as people director at Wahaca, is set to join Bill’s, the Richard Caring-backed restaurant chain, as its new full-time HR director, MCA has learnt.

Schwartz will join the c80-strong Bill’s at the start of next year, with Bridget Hutchinson, formerly of Whitbread and Prezzo, currently serving as its interim HR director.

Schwartz spent 20 years at Nando’s including stints as head of recruitment and head of learning & development, before joining Wahaca in the summer of 2016.

Earlier this year, Suresh Banarse, the global HR director for the Gaucho Group, left to join Wahaca as its new people director.

At the same time, MCA understands that Ron Lento has stepped down as innovation director at Bill’s. Lento, the former director of food & beverages for Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants, joined the company in 2016.

Last month, MCA revealed that Graham Ford, the former Jackson & Rye and Benito’s Hat chief executive, had stepped down as chief operating officer of Bill’s.