Yalla Yalla, the highly acclaimed Lebanese restaurant concept that serves a take on Beirut street food, has appointed Barry Hilton, formerly of Black & Blue, as its first operations director, as it looks to ramp up its expansion plans.

Hilton joins the chain, which is led by Agnieszka Ilska and her ex-Kenza chef partner Jad Youssef, after leaving the seven-strong Black & Blue business last June.

He is set to help with the next stage of Yalla Yalla’s growth, with the group set to open its third site in London at King’s Cross next month.

It is thought that the group, which currently operates sites in Winsley Street and Green’s Court, is looking to open several new units in 2012 as it looks to expand across the capital.