Food-to-go retailer Eat has named Mike Rainer as its new managing director.

The move follows the departure of CEO Andrew Walker, who has left the retailer to pursue other interests.

Rainer, who was most recently chief financial officer at Eat, will remain in the role, but assume additional responsibilities as MD, while the business continues to trade as a separate entity. In May it emerged that Pret A Manger would buy the business, which operates around 90 sites, and had longer-term plans to convert the brand’s shops to vegetarian Veggie Prets.

Turnover at Eat had fallen from £99m in 2017 to just under £95m in 2018.

Walker said he was “unbelievably proud” of his last three years leading Eat “through a significant period of change”.

“Helped by the fantastic team from the ground up, we were able to turn around the business – evidenced by our last financial year, where we saw a significant improvement in our trading performance, sparking Pret’s interest,” said Walker.

“Mike was a key part of this success, so I leave Eat in very capable hands. I now look forward to taking a much-needed break before considering my options in the future.”

Rainer said he would be pleased to continue Walker’s work, steering the business through the next stage as it integrates with Pret.

“The vast majority of our colleagues will be staying on at the combined group and our customers will continue to benefit from our creativity and drive for excellence.”