Wagamama COO joins Chilango board

Chilango, the 14-strong Mexican-inspired restaurant chain with sites across London and the UK, has announced the appointment of Nigel Sherwood, who will be joining the board as a non-executive director to support the company’s ambitious growth plans.

Sherwood brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his current and ongoing role as Chief Operating Officer at Wagamama as well as in his previous role of Managing Director at Shake Shack, and within other senior roles at Nandos and Pizza Hut UK. He joins the company’s new owners to drive the business forward alongside Managing Director Richard Franks.

After a challenging year for hospitality, Chilango is embarking on an exciting new chapter of the business, with a pipeline of new openings planned for 2021/22. Following the success of its regional sites in Manchester, Reading and most recently in Brighton, the chain is looking for new regional locations as well as further sites in London. A trial of a digital-only kitchen at the chain’s Boxpark Croydon site was a huge success, acting as a test bed for further digital growth and development, exploring new ways to bring the Chilango experience to customers.

The appointment follows the sale of the business in August 2020 to RDCP Group, an investment firm run by Sameer Rizvi and Iryna Dubylovska.

A recruitment process to find a new Head of People and Culture is also in place, strengthening the senior management team and ensuring the internal teams are well looked after ahead of the next period of growth.

Throughout 2020, Chilango was the best-selling Mexican brand on Deliveroo, with its burritos as the fourth best-selling item across the platform.

Nigel Sherwood said: “I am delighted to be involved in yet another business with so much potential. I have been impressed with Chilango’s performance in recent months, especially in the midst of a pandemic, and I look forward to supporting Sameer, Iryna, Richard and the team in their ambitious plans for the future.”

Richard Franks, Managing Director at Chilango said: “We are hugely excited to have Nigel on board. His wealth of experience in the hospitality sector is invaluable and I can’t think of anyone better to help guide our growth and support our aim to continually improve. He is a perfect fit for our plans going forward.”

Sameer Rizvi, Founder & CEO of RDCP Group said: “Wagamama is a leader in the UK hospitality sector, and we feel massively fortunate to have Nigel Sherwood join our board. Nigel has tons of experience in taking a mid-sized hospitality chain such as Chilango and helping it grow into a market leader.”