Hilton, who also served as CEO of Paul’s Northern Europe and North & South America operations, oversaw the development of the bakery café chain’s franchise business in the UK last year
A Paul bakery café, Baker Street, London | Photo credit: Paul
Mark Hilton has stepped down as the UK CEO of French bakery-café chain Paul to manage his hospitality and restaurant advisory firm, Kikkirossi, full-time.
Hilton became CEO of Paul UK in June 2019 and saw his remit expanded to CEO of Northern Europe and North & South America in January 2022, where he was tasked with developing franchise opportunities in new geographies.
Paul operates 35 stores in the UK and opened its first franchised outlet in the country in October 2022. The following month, the bakery café chain set a target of reaching 100 UK stores, half of which it expects to be franchised.
Paul also operates five US stores alongside three outlets in Panama and a single site in Canada.
Prior to becoming UK CEO, Hilton served as CEO for Paul and Hard Rock Café in Romania and Chief Operating Officer for Yum! Restaurants Intl. in Europe, managing the Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell fast-food chains.
“Delighted to be returning full time to Kikkirossi, which I’ve not been able to dedicate enough time to in recent years. I resigned from Paul UK in December, and my last day finished on 31 March. It was a privilege to lead Paul UK over the last nearly four years, and before that to have led the brand as a franchise partner for nine years in Romania. But the time was right to move on, and I’m super excited to be going back to my own business again,” Hilton said.
Founded in Lille in 1889, Paul is owned by French business company Groupe Holder. The bakery-café chain operates 770 stores across 47 countries, including more than 400 outlets across France.
Hilton runs Kikkirossi alongside business partner Francesca Tiritiello, who previously worked as Commercial Director for Yum! Restaurants Intl. in Europe.
Kikkirossi promotes itself as a boutique advisory firm with over 25 years experience and lists Costa Coffee, TGI Friday’s and Wagamama’s among prominent clients.