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Restaurant Associates strengthens leadership team following a strong period of growth with appointment of new Regional Managing Directors


The UK’s leading premium hospitality business, Restaurant Associates, has today announced the appointment of three new Regional Managing Directors across its nationwide estate. The promotions have been awarded to strengthen Restaurant Associates’ leadership team following a period of growth for the business.

Sara Senior, previously Sales and Retention Director, moves to Regional Managing Director with a remit to oversee Restaurant Associates’ key London clients. Sara will work across a diverse portfolio of businesses from financial and professional services to media organisations. Having worked for Restaurant Associates for several years, Sara’s background in collaborating with clients and championing business excellence will further enhance the premium credentials of the business.

Ming Lai joined Compass Group Australia over a decade ago, before coming to the UK in 2014 where he joined the Restaurant Associates family. Having worked across account management for key clients, as well as fulfilling the role of Operations Director, Ming has been promoted to the position of Regional Managing Director to oversee national and international contracts from across Restaurant Associates’ portfolio. Ming’s experience in delivering a consistently high-quality offer and service across his accounts will make a material difference to Restaurant Associates nationwide estate.

Finally, Kerry Ford joins Restaurant Associates as Regional Managing Director. Kerry is already responsible for Chartwells Universities & Colleges and will now also be overseeing cultural and heritage venues in this newly created position. Kerry’s recent career successes have seen a roll out of digital innovation and implementation of new operating models across the hospitality space which lends itself perfectly to Restaurant Associates’ portfolio of visitor attractions.

Matt Thomas, Managing Director of Restaurant Associates, comments on the recent promotions:

“I am delighted to be strengthening our executive team with these three promotions. Restaurant Associates has enjoyed an exceptional 18 months of expansion alongside retention of existing business. This period of growth has awarded us the opportunity to recognise the fantastic work our people are doing and realises traction regarding our food strategy, net zero commitment, and social mobility pledge. I have every confidence that Sara, Ming, and Kerry will continue to exceed our client promises by adding value and delivering exceptional food, drink, and services.”

Pictured left to right: Kerry Ford, Ming Lai, Sara Senior