Whitbread has appointed Phil Birbeck, formerly of Dixons Carphone, as the new managing director of its c400-strong restaurant division, M&C has learnt.

Birbeck joins the Brewers Fayre and Beefeater operator, after a year and a half as operations director of Dixons Carphone, where he was the Dixons lead in the merger integration with Carphone Warehouse.

He will report into Paul Flaum, managing director of its Hotels & Restaurants division (WHR), who took over from Patrick Dempsey earlier this year.

Birbeck also spent time as president director general of Pixmania and previous to that he was managing director of DSG Business, which at the time included PC World.

Whitbread operates c400 restaurants generating sales of c£543m, is currently in the process of upgrading its Beefeater and Brewers Fayre estates, and rolling out new format Whitbread Inns. The latter brand has already been launched across 10 sites.

The group also operates local restaurant format Table Table.

Within the hotels and restaurants business, the company said its restaurants delivered total sales growth of 1.6% and like for like sales growth of 0.1% in its first quarter, slightly ahead of a soft pub restaurant market outside the M25.