Chipotle Mexican Grill, the US-based burrito concept, has announced the appointment of Jim Slater, the former managing director of Costa Coffee UK, as its new managing director in Europe.

Slater will oversee the strategy, development and growth of Chipotle’s European business, which includes its six-strong estate in London.

Earlier this year, Slater stepped down as managing director of Costa UK, where he oversaw 2,200 stores and more than a billion dollars in sales.

He previously worked at Mars, Kraft and Diageo before joining Sunderland AFC, as commercial and marketing director in 1998.

Chipotle, which earlier this year closed its site in Wimbledon, has been led in Europe since its debut in London in 2010 by Jacob Sumner.

He said: “Chipotle’s commitment to better food from ingredients raised and grown with respect for animals, farmers and the environment is consistent with how many Europeans eat and the brand is one that really resonates with customers here. Looking at the success of Chipotle in the US, I know the company has tremendous opportunity in Europe and I look forward to continuing to develop the Chipotle brand in these markets.”

“Jim not only believes in our commitment to change the way people think about and eat fast food, but he also celebrates our vision of building teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards,” said Steve Ells, Chipotle founder, chairman, and co-CEO. “We have great confidence in his abilities and expertise, and believe his leadership will help us enhance and grow our business in Europe.”

The group said it had closed its Wimbledon site to focus on its remaining central London estate.

The site on Wimbledon Hill Road became the sixth UK site for the US group when it opened in February 2013. It is the only suburban site the group has opened in London.

MCA understands that the group will refocus on its remaining six sites in the capital and on its growing estate in Paris, where it is currently on site on a fifth opening.