Gusto Restaurants, the Palatine Private Equity-backed chain, has appointed Matt Snell as its new managing director, MCA has learnt.

Snell recently joined the 19-strong group as commercial director and will take over the reins from current managing director Sue Crimes in April. Crimes will move into a non-executive board position as part of a planned succession process.

She led the management buy-out of Gusto from Living Ventures in 2013, when the estate comprised nine sites, in a deal backed by Palatine.

Snell joined Gusto in January in the then new commercial director role to strengthen the executive team at the expanding brand.

He was previously a head of operations at Fuller’s, operations director Red’s True Barbecue, before joining Giraffe as brand director in February 2017.

Gusto chairman Jeremy Roberts said: “Matt brings a wealth of relevant experience to the role and we are very excited at his appointment. He will bring a different perspective and outlook to the business , enabling him to build on the strong foundations laid to date.”

Snell said: “Sue and the team have done a fantastic job in getting the business to where it is today, and I am both grateful and delighted to be given the opportunity to develop and expand the business even further.”

Roberts added: “Sue has been with the business since its inception in 2008 and has overseen its growth since Palatine’s investment – the estate has more than doubled in size under her leadership. I am delighted that she will be staying with the business to assist the transition and to continue to add her wealth of sector knowledge and specific operational nous to the board.”

Crimes said: “This has been a move that we have been planning for many months and our appointment of Matt recently was the last piece of that jigsaw. I am really looking forward to taking up my new role, and am really excited to continue to be involved in a different capacity with this fantastic business.”