Richard Franks has joined fast-casual Vietnamese brand HOP as Managing Director. Franks joins the business having previously led Mexican brand Chilango which was recently acquired by Tortilla Mexican Grill.
Franks will lead the business, alongside founder Paul Hopper, devising its operational strategy as well as driving its plans for growth.
Franks said: “I’m thrilled to be joining HOP to help deliver its ambitious growth plans. The past couple of years have shown that the fast casual dining sector is incredibly robust, with consumers showing a real appetite to once again begin eating out. I have long-admired HOP for its fantastic food, its colourful attitude and its cutting-edge approach to the digital guest experience.
“It could not be a better time for HOP to bring its incredible, fresh flavours to more and more hungry guests and I’m incredibly excited to be working with Paul and the team to build a brand with a huge future.”
His appointment follows the announcement of a successful £2.25m capital raise, which it will use to grow its estate outside the City in central London.
HOP have also announced the appointment of Jemma Morgan – formerly of The Big Easy, MOD Pizza and Whistle Punks who has joined the business as a brand and marketing consultant.
Jemma said: “HOP is an incredibly unique brand brought to life by an exceptionally passionate and creative team which I am proud to be a part of. This is a very special time for the brand, and I am truly looking forward to further supporting Paul, the team and the brand through this exciting period of growth.
HOP has plans to open up to 20 new locations in the capital over the next 5 years and has also recently appointed Nick Ayerst – formerly MD of TRG Concessions and former MD of Leon - as a strategic advisor to explore franchising as a growth route for the brand.
Nick said: “I am delighted to be working with Paul and the HOP team to grow this fabulous brand in the franchise sector. Vietnamese food is naturally fast and fresh, perfect for travel hubs and the brand is a great opportunity for experienced franchisees in the fast casual market to grow their brand portfolio”
Founder Paul Hopper said: “I’m incredibly excited to be joined by Richard, Jemma and Nick as HOP enters the next phase of its exciting journey. Each of them brings a wealth of experience and fresh thinking to the table which will help HOP stay ahead in the years to come. It’s always been my dream to one day make HOP a household name and I’m convinced we now have the team to make that a reality”