Steve Hill, former chief executive of Wagamama and Las Iguanas, has joined the board of the Salt Yard Group, the Simon Mullins-led London restaurant operator, as a non-executive director, M&C Report has learnt.

Hill, who stepped down as chief executive of Las Iguanas last year, is currently chairman of Vietnamese chain Pho.

Earlier this month, Mullins told M&C Report that he is interested in developing Salt Yard, which is backed by Alcuin Partners, into affluent residential areas as well as developing restaurant concepts for the centre. The group is considering Notting Hill, Chiswick, Richmond, Putney and Wimbledon amongst others for suitable sites:

For 2015 he said he is working on a concept inspired by northern Italy and its Alpine neighbours taking influences from Slovenia, Switzerland and Austria.

This is one of three pipeline concepts being incubated for this and next year that are all slightly different, which will be developed in parallel to opening Salt Yards in affluent suburban neighbourhoods.

Another space Mullins is keen to explore is travel retail as Network Rail and airports are increasingly looking for high quality operators to operate at stations and airports.

The company has built up a strong operations team to gear up for growth including the appointment of operations manager Christine Cheung who is the former operations manager from Wagamama franchise in Ireland, who joined the business about a month ago.