Kevin Bacon, the former The Restaurant Group executive and ex-managing director of Jamie Oliver International, has joined the board of Thai Leisure Group (TLG), operator of the Chaophraya brand, as it is on the verge of “a significant multi-million pound investment”, M&C Report has learnt.

New non-executive director Bacon joins the company, which operates 11 restaurants and four cocktail bars across the north of England and Scotland, as it reports like for like sales growth of 9% over the last year.

Martin Stead, co-owner of TLG, told M&C Report: “This really is an exciting time for TLG. Kevin’s appointment comes on the verge of a significant multi-million pound investment, which places us in a strong position to be able to open six sites next year and seven the year after. 2015 is set to be an amazing year for us … it’s really a case of ‘watch this space!’”

Bacon was, for eight years, a main board director of TRG with responsibility for more than 300 restaurants, growing Frankie & Benny’s from conception to a 180-strong chain. More recently he was managing director of Jamie Oliver International, successfully expanding the brand into new territories including the Middle East, Australia, Asia and the USA.

TLG is co-owned by Stead and Kim Kaewraikhot, who is also chef director. It has a current turnover, annualised on existing sites of £26m and serves over 20,000 customers per week

Stead said: “TLG is already the leading Thai restaurant brand outside London and with a further 6 sites planned for 2015, the appointment of Kevin will ensure the ambitious plans receive strengthened strategic support.”

Bacon said:  “I’m delighted to be joining Thai Leisure Group at a very exciting time for them with ambitious plans for next year, and am looking forward to helping them develop the business across the UK.”