Prezzo appoints new CFO amid ‘strategic review

Prezzo, a casual dining chain, has appointed Jo Harrison as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) as part of a restructuring plan that is expected to result in the closure of approximately one-third of the company's restaurant locations.

In April, Prezzo announced its intention to shut down 46 restaurants that were not generating profits due to the escalating costs of various factors, including energy and dough balls.

Harrison's appointment is described as the 'final chapter of a strategic review' for Prezzo, aimed to ensure growth during a challenging period for the casual dining sector as a whole. She will be responsible for implementing the changes outlined earlier this year, which would result in around 800 job losses if the company proceeds with reducing its portfolio to 97 restaurants.

Harrison replaces Matt Prior, who left the company in February, and she joins Prezzo after serving as the Director of Finance at chocolate retailer Hotel Chocolat for eight years. Prior to that, she held senior management and leadership positions in the leisure and retail sectors, including three years at JD Wetherspoon and 11 years at Tesco.

In her new role, Harrison will also be involved in investment decisions related to menu development and ingredient selection, while ensuring that costs are effectively managed in the face of rising inflation.

Harrison said: 'I am confident together we can ensure sustainable and profitable growth as we take Prezzo through this next chapter, creating long-term value for all our stakeholders.'

Dean Challenger, chief executive at Prezzo, added: 'Jo joining us is the final part of our plans to make sure Prezzo has a strong future right at the heart of the casual dining sector. We are pleased she can see the huge potential the brand has and wants to join us on that journey.'