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Compass Group UK & Ireland Announces New Managing Director for RA Group


Compass Group UK & Ireland is delighted to announce that Matt Thomas will be joining the UK&I Executive team as Managing Director of RA Group on 4th January 2021. RA Group is a collection of specialist food and guest services companies.  From prestigious corporate organisations to iconic cultural and heritage venues, it includes Restaurant Associates, Rapport, RA Venues and commercial restaurant partnerships including City Social by Jason Atherton.

A new challenge in food services

Matt joins Compass from WSH, the holding company for brands such as BaxterStorey, Benugo and Searcys, where he has held senior roles for more than a decade. Most recently Matt was Managing Director of Searcys, a collection of restaurants, events and workplace venues, where his brand relaunch included a Champagne School and sustainability accreditation. Previously, Matt was Managing Director, London for BaxterStorey, the UK’s largest independent food service provider.

Matt is taking over from Alice Woodwark who is moving on from Compass Group after seven successful years with the company in senior strategic and management roles.

Robin Mills, Managing Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland commented: “I would like to thank Alice Woodwark for her exceptional stewardship of the RA Group and the legacy she leaves of a hugely respected and innovative brand that has become a leader in community social enterprise, sustainability and contemporary food. Alice has also led with compassion through this challenging year, spearheading innovation that lays the foundation for strong future growth.

“We are thrilled to welcome Matt and are excited about what lies ahead. We look forward to Matt’s leadership and creativity in building RA Group for the future, and his contribution to the future path for Compass Group UK&I."

Matt Thomas said: “I am delighted to be joining the Compass Group UK and Ireland leadership team, at the helm of the RA Group. Their collective enthusiasm for what they do and their desire to think differently is nothing short of inspirational. I admire what the RA Group stands for, its strong heritage and relentless pursuit of excellence. I look forward to meeting the teams, clients and customers, with a view to influencing the future direction and growth of RA Group brands.” 

Matt Thomas, MD, RA Group