Waitrose has recruited its first director of food service Simon Burgess as the retailer taps growth in casual dining and grazing.

Joining in September this year, Burgess, who is currently the vice president of InterContinental Hotels Group, will oversee the development of Waitrose’s food service offer.

Burgess has 20 years of experience in the retail industry, having previously been commercial director for Fortnum and Mason, and has held commercial roles at Marks & Spencer including as category manager for in store hospitality.

Ben Stimson, retailer director of Waitrose, said that evolving its foodservice offer would increase consumer excitement around its food.

“Simon brings a wealth of experience that will be invaluable in ensuring our hospitality makes our shops dynamic and vibrant places to visit.”

Waitrose also held three-course restaurant-styled dinners at its new Haywards Heath store throughout April and May 2017.