The Restaurant Group has announced that chairman Debbie Hewitt MBE will be stepping down from the board from 31 December 2021.

She is leaving to take up the role of Chairman of the English Football Association from January 2022, subject to ratification by the FA Council.

The board at TRG has commenced a formal process to recruit her successor led by Graham Clemett, senior independent director, and an announcement will be made in due course.

Andy Hornby, CEO said Hewitt had been a “proactive chairman who has built and led a high-quality board and proactively engaged with all stakeholders throughout her tenure”.

Debbie Hewitt MBE said: “TRG is a fantastic business, full of outstanding people, who care passionately about our customers and the food and service they deliver. The group has undergone a substantial transformation since I joined in 2015, and it now has a stronger customer ethos, a stronger group of brands and a first-class team.

“Under Andy Hornby’s outstanding leadership, the company has emerged stronger from the pandemic and is poised for growth through all of its channels. I remain fully committed to working with Andy and Graham for the rest of the year to ensure the recruitment of a strong successor and a smooth transition.”