Gusto Italian has appointed Scott Grimbleby as its new chief operating officer (COO) as it continues to open new restaurants across the UK.

Grimbleby, who joins from Living Ventures, will replace Tim Selby who is leaving to pursue opportunities outside the group.

He will be tasked with driving the expansion of the Palatine Private Equity-backed business as it looks to expand its footprint outside the North and Midlands, where its 13 sites are currently located.

Grimbleby has held various managing director roles within the Living Ventures business over the past six years, most recently serving as MD for Blackhouse Restaurants, prior to which he was operations direction at La Tasca.

Commented Matt Snell, chief executive, Gusto Italian: “Scott is a brilliant operator with fantastic experience of operating in the premium hospitality space.

“He brings a track record of delivering sales growth at established restaurant businesses as well as successfully launching and building new businesses, and we are delighted to welcome him to the Gusto Italian family.

Grimbleby added: “I’m thrilled to be joining a thriving business which is outperforming the market, growing its estate and delivering outstanding service, and can’t wait to get stuck in to this exciting new role.”

Gusto Italian most recently opened in Nottingham, in late 2021. The site will be template for all future openings and features a pizza experience at the chef’s table, a show kitchen and olive trees in the design, alongside a refreshed colour palette.