Coffee shop chain Harris + Hoole has appointed Pret A Manger’s head of strategy to lead its growth plans.

Richard Harpham will join the Tesco-backed chain as finance director, with a focus on defining the company’s strategic direction, and brings with him experience of chain expansion.

Nick Tolley, chief executive and co-founder of Harris + Hoole, said: “Richard has a huge amount of expertise in this area, having worked for brands across the food and drink industry. He will be a valued addition.”

The appointment follows the chain’s March announcement that it was looking to recruit up to 500 new staff in its plans to add more sites across London and the south east.

It currently runs 30 outlets with some already in Tesco’s new-generation stores.