Gusto Italian has announced the appointment of a new CFO, Phil Dearden, who will join the premium casual dining group this month to drive financial growth of the business.
Phil has a wealth of experience operating private equity backed businesses in the hospitality sector, having previously co-founded Bold Pub Co and Bravo Inns, where he also served as CFO, before the sale of the community pub groups in 2007 and 2020 respectively. Phil replaces Frank Bandura who leaves Gusto Italian to take up a full-time CFO role at Impact Food Group.
Commenting on the appointment, Gusto Italian CEO, Matt Snell said: “We’re thrilled that Phil will be joining Gusto Italian. He has vast experience in this industry as a CFO and as a leader who has defined and driven the financial strategy of his own highly successful businesses, and I have no doubt he will be a great asset to Gusto Italian during what is a critical time for the business.
“I’d also like to thank Frank Bandura, who has been a valued member of the senior leadership team since 2020 and helped us navigate what was a highly challenging time for the industry. We will miss Frank’s input, knowledge and wisdom, and we wish him well for the future.”
Prior to moving into the hospitality sector, Phil, a Chartered Accountant who also holds an MBA from Strathclyde Graduate Business School, spent time in corporate finance roles in the food and retail sectors, and also worked in Management Consultancy at Ernst & Young. He joins at a definitive moment for Gusto Italian as the company expands its footprint and makes substantial upgrades to its core estate. The group opened its first southern site, in Oxford, late last year after a £1.8million investment, in addition to carrying out full refurbishments at its Edinburgh and Alderley Edge locations, as part of a self-funded £2m CAPEX programme.