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​Thomas Kelly Takes the Helm at Honest Burgers as New CEO

​Thomas Kelly Takes the Helm at Honest Burgers as New CEO

Posted by Emily on 14th Jan 2024

Honest Burgers has announced the appointment of Thomas Kelly, a seasoned executive with experience at McDonald's and Costa Coffee, as its new CEO. Kelly is set to steer Honest Burgers into an ambitious phase of expansion.

Honest Burgers, Brighton, UK Andy Li, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Predecessor Frank Hayes, who led the approximately 40-outlet casual dining business through the challenges of COVID-19 and its aftermath, steps down to explore new opportunities. Under Hayes' leadership, Honest Burgers solidified its foundation for future growth, achieving significant sales momentum in the past 18 months.

Kelly began as a graduate trainee at McDonald's, eventually ascending to the executive board as Vice President in the UK, and CEO roles in Finland and Sweden. More recently, he served as Global Executive Director at Costa Coffee.

This leadership change aligns with  Honest Burgers' strategic move into the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) sector, introducing a smash burger concept. Founders Tom Barton and Phillip Eeles attribute this new direction to the success of their lighter, more affordable smashed burger introduced last year.

Barton expressed gratitude to Hayes for setting the stage for future growth and enthusiasm about Kelly's appointment: "Thomas's track record in restaurant management is unparalleled, and his proven capability to drive significant growth is exactly what Honest Burgers needs."

Kelly shared his excitement about the new role: "My passion has always been creating exceptional customer experiences in the restaurant industry. Honest Burgers' reputation and product quality present a fantastic opportunity for growth that I couldn't resist."

We welcome your thoughts on Thomas Kelly's new role and the future of Honest Burgers. Please share your comments below.