Former Bill’s managing director, Roberto Moretti, has been appointed chief executive of Vapiano UK, MCA has learnt.

He replaces Phil Sermon, who is leaving to take on a new role outside the company after almost seven years as managing director UK for the German-listed Italian casual dining chain.

Moretti, who joins the company next week, spent 10 years at Zizzi, latterly as operations director, before moving to Bill’s. He was most recently interim managing director at Coco di Mama.

Next week Vapiano opens its seventh UK restaurant, at One Tower Bridge. It also has a further two confirmed London sites, at Tottenham Court Road (Centre Point), opening in late 2018, and Cabot Square area of Canary Wharf, due to launch in early 2019.

Vapiano thanked Sermon for his “outstanding work” developing the brand in the UK and wished him well in his new business venture.

Sermon told MCA: “It’s been a fantastic experience and I’m very proud of what has been achieved during my time with Vapiano. We have grown from two sites to nine and have kept the brand contemporary and fashionable. While I’m sorry to be saying goodbye to everyone I’m very excited about my next step.”

Moretti said: “I am excited to join the team at Vapiano UK next week. The group is renowned for serving truly fresh food, all made daily on site; from a varied selection of handmade pasta shapes, through to fresh pizza dough, dressings, sauces and dolci.

“Vapiano’s first restaurant on Great Portland Street celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and is still serving upwards of 10,000 guests a week, which is an incredible achievement in what is a really competitive and challenging environment. It’s an exciting time for Vapiano right now and I am really looking forward to building on the group’s achievements to date and to further develop and enhance the brand.”