Minor Hotels, the Thailand-based hospitality group, which acquired a stake in Japanese restaurant group Benihana earlier this year, is exploring further expansion opportunities for the brand in the UK, after strengthening its management team here, MCA has learnt.

The company, which last year acquired Corbin & King in a £58m deal, has appointed Richard Mackay, formerly of The Noodle House and Wagamama, to oversee expansion in its developing markets, including the UK; whilst Mark Legero, former director of property at Wasabi, has been named as its new head of property.

The brand, which currently operates site in Chelsea and Piccadilly, is believed to have appointed property advisors Stephen Kane & Co to help with its expansion plans, with a site in Glasgow understood to have already been lined up.

Minor invested $12m for a 75% stake in Benihana. The Japan-inspired chain of grill restaurants has 19 locations across 12 countries, including Thailand, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, plus those sites in Chelsea and Piccadilly.

Benihana was set up by Rocky Aoki in New York in 1964 and has been operating in London for over 30 years.

Minor currently operates a portfolio of 157 hotels and resorts in 24 countries.

Late last year, Minor set up a new listed company in Thailand, in which it owns a 74% stake, to acquire Corbin & King, with the rest owned by founders Jeremy King and Chris Corbin. King remains chief executive of the group.