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Case Study: Dining & Leisure

Sourcing best in class for a major hospitality retailer

Roles Covered

Head of Retail


The successful candidate had developed genuine own brands (packaging, brand, digital campaigns) for his own products, to sell in his own category, throughout his own stores.

He hadn’t had direct experience with selling to other retailers but he knew enough about that process and negotiation more generally from experiencing this from the other side.

He was also a Cambridge graduate who had shot up through his own career so far, demonstrably having been promoted ahead of peers at every corner


Our client was a household name restaurant chain. Owned by a private equity house, having been acquired in the largest deal of its kind for half a decade.

The overall commercial objective for the company was focussed in two directions: shoring up its dominant position in the British Isles; and expanding aggressively overseas.

Hunter-Miller’s assignment was related to the former; source a rising star to drive the business when the scale of its restaurant operation had largely reached saturation point

The answer was to bring in a new individual to fire up the business in all non-restaurant channels. This new hire would be responsible for delivering all revenue through the grocery channel, wholesale, but also marketing and further licensing of the brand.

Inherent challenges

The individual would need to be:

  • Somebody who knew how to sell a chilled, perishable food product into major retailers, with proven success
  • Not just a straightforward sales specialist – this would be a mini MD who would manage this business on its own two feet and run the overall strategy, with the wherewithal to operate in a small, fast paced business with limited support
  • As a consequence, they needed to be a genuine marketer, particularly in a digital context

Long term

Our candidate has adjusted quickly to the new industry and now owns trading accountability for the restaurant business too; without prior experience in hospitality.