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A.F. Blakemore appoints Lawrence Shirazian as Managing Director of Foodservice Business Unit

December 01, 2023

A.F. Blakemore, one of the UK’s largest privately owned family businesses, is pleased to announce that Lawrence Shirazian will join as Managing Director of their newly formed Foodservice Business Unit on 4th December 2023. Lawrence joins to lead a business that unites Blakemore’s Foodservice, Fresh Meat, and Wholesale divisions.

Lawrence Shirazian brings a wealth of experience from across the hospitality, leisure, catering and retail sectors. Having recently consulted for private equity and software companies in the hospitality space.

Lawrence was previously Managing Director at Aramark UK leading operations across 700 locations and 8,000 colleagues. During his 14-year tenure Lawrence developed the strategic and operational framework. Focusing on driving quality and innovation whilst strengthening competitive differentiation and increasing its market share and profitability across its operating businesses in Education, Business and Industry, Ministry of Defence, Retail and Leisure.

Lawrence also brings depth and breadth of experience from senior roles at Delaware North Companies, who established Wembley Stadium retail hospitality services, Welcome Break, and the launch, development and expansion of Zizzi restaurants.

Lawrence Shirazian said: “I am thrilled to be joining A.F. Blakemore to deliver the strategic vision at such an exciting time for their Foodservice businesses. I share the passion for creating value by providing our partners with great food and drink solutions borne out of a deep understanding of their customers and a need for operational efficiency.”

Carol Welch, CEO, commented: “We’re delighted that Lawrence is joining us. His knowledge extends across a breadth of sectors making him ideally placed to oversee the newly formed business unit. He brings a customer first approach coupled with deep operational understanding that will ensure we continue to create value through growth and productivity for our partners and our business.”

A.F. Blakemore recently announced sales of £1.2bn and a 65% increase in EBITDA for year ending May 2023, with a further 44% increase in EBITDA for the first 24 weeks of 2023/24.

As well as their Wholesale and Foodservice businesses, A.F. Blakemore also operates 900 convenience retail stores including company owned and independent SPAR retail partners. The group also owns the Philpotts brand, a chain of sandwich, coffee and bakery stores.

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