Casual Dining Group

Welcome to Casual Dining Group, operator of some of the UK’s favourite restaurant brands including Café Rouge and Bella Italia.

The UK’s leading independent restaurant group

Casual Dining Group is one of the largest independent restaurant companies in the UK. We operate some of the most recognisable and loved restaurant brands to be found anywhere in the eating-out market, such as Bella Italia, Café Rouge, La Tasca and Las Iguanas.
We operate over 280 restaurant sites in a variety of locations including leisure parks, shopping centres, airports and high streets. We are a national business, with restaurants located across the country, from Aberdeen to Plymouth, employing almost 8,000 people and serving more than 20 million meals each year.
In addition to our UK operations, we are also selectively expanding Casual Dining Group internationally through franchise partnerships.

Senior Leadership Team

Rooney Anand

Non-Executive Chairman

Rooney joined Greene King in August 2001, and was appointed Chief Executive in May 2005. Prior to joining Greene King, Rooney built a career in the consumer goods at Sara Lee Bakery UK (the bakery subsidiary of the US-owned Sara Lee Corporation) and before that with both Terry’s confectionery and McVities divisions of United Biscuits plc, in a variety of marketing and general management roles. As a non-executive director, Rooney currently serves as Senior Independent Director for Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc and Chairman of Purity Soft Drinks Ltd, and from January 2019, will be Chairman of the education and skills charity, Worldskills UK

James Spragg

Chief Executive Officer

James was formerly the Chief Operating Officer for the group, where he held responsibility for the Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Belgo brands, alongside leading group projects. A highly-experienced operator of restaurant businesses, James previously led Pizza Express and Strada, and held leadership positions at Scottish & Newcastle, TGI Friday’s and Whitbread.

Giles David

Chief Financial Officer

Giles qualified at Esso on their graduate training scheme. He subsequently held senior positions in digital ecommerce, private equity leveraged deals and multi-site consumer finance and retail in organisations including Marks & Spencer, Cellnet, Energis, O2, Brighthouse, United House and Wiggle CRC. Giles is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and an Associate Member of the Corporate Treasures Association.

Mark Nelson

Managing Director

International & Concessions

Mark leads CDG’s international franchise arm, which has seen the Bella Italia, Las Iguanas and Café Rouge brands launch in India and the Middle East respectively. Mark brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, and is a former MD of Elior UK. His responsibilities also include Belgo, concessions, overseeing CDG’s restaurants in UK airports and holiday park destinations, such as Center Parcs.

Lisa Gibbons

Brand Director

Bella Italia

Lisa has worked in the sector for  over 20 years. Her career began at Mitchells and Butlers, where she worked in various operational roles. She joined the Café Rouge brand in CDG in 2011 as an Operations Manager, before being promoted to Senior Operations Manager. She moved to the Bella Italia brand as Operations Director brand in 2016, and was appointed Brand Director in 2019.

Célia Pronto

Chief Customer Officer

Célia is responsible for driving a profitable customer experience, overseeing marketing and digital business transformation with the objective of further commercialising the business across all functions. She has previously worked in marketing, E-commerce and multi-channel roles in organisations including Ford Retail, Unilever, Rank Group, InterContinental Hotels Group, STA Travel and Bookatable; with specific expertise in developing digital transformation strategies in complex multi-channel and omni-channel consumer businesses.

David Lodge

Group Property Director

David is responsible for all property matters, including all major refurbishments, new site development and property maintenance. Previously he was Property Director at Novus Leisure, and has held senior roles at Spirit Group Limited, Scottish & Newcastle and Greenalls Group.

Simon Galkoff

Group Procurement Director

Simon oversees Procurement, Supply Chain and Food Technology across all CDG brands. He previously worked in the Supermarket, Oil & Gas and Foodservice industry, with experience in Operations, Marketing, Buying, Category Management, Quality & Innovation and Strategy. Prior to joining CDG he held a number of senior management roles at Sainsbury’s, BP International, Whitbread and Morrisons. Simon is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.

Claire Clarke

Group HR Director

Claire is responsible for all HR matters across the Group, providing strategic direction in key areas such as the impact of Brexit, government regulation and matters effecting the employee brand. Previously People Director for the Concessions and Franchising division within CDG, Claire started her career in Whitbread PLC and was one of the founding members of HR in Tragus Group Ltd (the founding company CDG acquired in 2013).