Jorge Torres, formerly of Nestle and Coca-Cola, has replaced Nick Dawson, general manager of Taco Bell UK and Europe, MCA understands.

Torres joins the US Tex Mex quick service brand after nearly 12 years with Nestle, where he was most recently innovation acceleration director for Nestle Waters in France.

Dawson, who stepped down at the end of last year, led Taco Bell since it re-entered the UK market in 2010 at Lakeside shopping centre in Essex.

Under his leadership the Yum! Brands concept has grown to 22 UK sites, with eight opening last year alone under a franchises model.

Taco Bell opened its third site in Sheffield, a second site in Barnsley, a drive thru in York, and a branch in Glasgow, its first in Scotland, towards the end of last year.

The value-led brand is opened its latest, and 23rd in the UK, in Brighton last week, on the former Loungers site on Western Road. It also has an opening lined up in Liverpool.

Last year the brand made its debut in the Netherlands, Romania and Finland, taking the region’s total to 73 restaurants.

Taco Bell first entered the UK market in the early 1990s, opening three sites in London and one in Birmingham, but exited a few years later after failing to make an impact.