Christian Solanot, formerly of Cote, Jamie’s Italian and Shake Shack, is to oversee the launch of US chicken concept Wingstop in the UK, MCA has learnt.

Solanot, who spent three years as international operations manager at Shake Shack, helping with its launch in the UK, has been appointed to oversee the launch of an initial six sites under the brand, which has over 1,030 locations worldwide, across the capital.

MCA revealed at the start of the year, the company plans to convert the former HSBC site on Shaftesbury Avenue, close to Cambridge Circus, for its UK flagship opening.

The company is understood to have agreed a 25-year lease for the site and that the costs of the scheme at Shaftesbury Avenue will be £850k.

It is also believed to have entered into an exclusive partnership with Camden Town Brewery in regards to the beer offer for its debut site.

Last year, the company entered into an agreement with Lemon Pepper Holdings (LPH), led by Rita Sharma – the founder of, to launch in the UK.

It will be the aviation themed, chicken wings specialist’s first foray into Europe. The plan is to open the first UK site this year and grow to 100 sites over the next 12 years.

The LPH board also includes Saul Lewin and Boris Kofman of V2 Leisure, which was involved in launching Novikov in the UK in 2011 and brokered the launches of Sumosan Twiga, Park Chinois, and most recently opened MNKY HSE in the UK; as well as Tom Grogan, co-founder of Lutti London, a privately owned real estate investment group.

Solanot was previously director of operations at Grand Union. He was also an operations manager at Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group and spent three years as a general manager at Cote.