The architect of pub giant Mitchells & Butlers' (M&B) thriving food business is to retire at the end of this year.
Tony Hughes, 59, said he will step down from his role as managing director of restaurants after 12 years with the company.
He will be replaced by Adam Fowle who is currently managing director for M&B's acquired sites and business development group.
Since its demerger from Six Continents in 2002 the company, which operates around 2,000 pubs with brands such as Harvester, All Bar One and O'Neills, has transformed its business and sent food sales soaring to more than £80m a year.
In November 2006, the pub operator, which has focused on the lucrative suburban eating-out market in recent years, saw food sales burst through the £500m mark to make up the largest part of its sales mix at more than 30%.
Tim Clarke, chief executive at M&B, said: "I would like to thank Tony Hughes for his outstanding contribution to building Mitchells & Butlers' leadership position in the eating out market."
Hughes was a recipient of a Pub Industry Catey in 2001.
By Chris Druce
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