Simon Wilkinson, the former chief executive of La Tasca and Café Rouge managing director, has stepped back from a day-to-day role at the Steve Richards-led Casual Dining Group (CDG), MCA understands.

Wilkinson, who joined CDG after its c£25m takeover of La Tasca at the end of 2015, became managing director of Café Rouge and Belgo in June 2016. Last November, he took on the new role of managing director – strategic development, with a focus on “identifying opportunities to grow the CDG business”.

It is thought he has been retained by CDG to continue to look over acquisition opportunities, whilst also exploring possible further opportunities in the hospitality sector for himself.

Wilkinson told MCA: “I initially agreed to stay three months and it’s now over two and a half years which shows how much I have enjoyed working with both Steve and Martin (Robinson, chairman).

“We may very well work together again soon or an entirely different opportunity may present itself. I am still very ambitious to replicate the successful turnaround and sale of La Tasca within the hospitality space sometime in the future.”