waitrose sushi counter

Waitrose has 48 in-store sushi bars

Waitrose looks set to take its food-to-go and dining options to the next level with the appointment of its first director of food service.

Simon Burdess, vice president of restaurants and bars at the InterContinental Hotels Group, will take up the newly created role in September.

Burdess comes with 20 years of experience in retail, having held commercial roles at both Fortnum and Mason and Marks & Spencer.

His appointment comes as Waitrose focuses on increasing its in-store food service options. The retailer has 48 sushi counters in its estate and four open kitchens serving hot breakfast, lunch and dinner options, having hailed the opening of its first kitchen in the Barbican last year as “a success”.

Waitrose also made a foray into the restaurant arena this spring by launching an in-store supper club in its Haywards Heath store – a concept that it is considering extending to a wider number of branches. 

Waitrose retail director Ben Stimson said: “We want our shops to be places where customers will feel excited by and inspired by food - and evolving our food service offer is vital in achieving this. Simon brings a wealth of experience which will be invaluable in ensuring our hospitality makes our shops dynamic and vibrant places to visit.”