Kate Nicholls replaces David McHattie as ALMR chief executive

By John Harrington and James Wallin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chief executive Almr Chief executive officer Sector skills councils

Kate Nicholls has replaced David McHattie with immediate effect
Kate Nicholls has replaced David McHattie with immediate effect
David McHattie has stepped down from his role as chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) with immediate effect.

McHattie, who took up the position 16 months ago, has been replaced by Kate Nicholls, the organisation’s director of strategic affairs.

The ALMR said McHattie has left for personal reasons and will move to the north of England to develop his pub operation, the Devonshire Arms in Baslow. He will continue to serve as a council member of the ALMR.

He told the PMA he relished the chance to develop his own business further.

He said: “My role at the ALMR was pretty all-encompassing and it just didn’t leave room for me to think about my role as an operator. That’s something I’ve missed and I’m looking forward to getting back to that.


“Nothing will be changing in terms of the day to day running of the pub but I will be able to concentrate on the growth of the business.

“There have been a few opportunities that I have had to step away from because it would have seemed like a conflict with my role at the ALMR.”

The Devonshire Arm is a Punch leasehold and McHattie said he would be happy to work with a pubco again.

He added: “When I was appointed one of the first questions I was asked was about the statutory code and what I thought about pubcos. The fact that I have a lease with Punch probably says all you need to know about that.”

He said he was “incredibly proud” of the progress the ALMR had made during his time as chief executive and was “delighted” at Nicholls’ appointment.

Building blocks

Nicholls, who starts her new role with immediate effect, told the PMA​’s sister title M&C Report​: “The ALMR has gone through almost three years of exceptional growth in membership. We have broadened our reach in our core markets and we have diversified into new markets so that we have become the representative voice not only of pubs but of the late night economy and casual dining and eating out.

“The latest recruits have been in that area and I want to build on that because we now have a truly effective voice for licensed hospitality, which is big business and doesn’t get the fair share of consideration at government level that it deserves - it’s been too fragmented for too long.

“We’ve build up the breadth and depth of membership, now it’s about exploiting it, using it and making a difference.”

Casual dining members to join the ALMR in the past few months have included Tragus, Carluccios, Brasserie Blanc and Red Hot World Buffet.


Nicholls has worked with the ALMR since 1998, initially as a consultant before becoming head of communications in 2002 and strategic affairs director in 2010. She joined the ALMR board last year.

McHattie was a former operations director at Fuller’s and The Restaurant Group, and operations manager at Mitchells & Butlers, before becoming ALMR CEO at the trade body’s AGM on 8 May 2013. He also served as chief operating officer at People 1st, the sector skills council for hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism in the UK, and was instrumental in establishing the National Skills Council for Hospitality.

The ALMR has seen membership grow in volume and value terms by 30% for its last two financial years, and expects to continue that rate of growth this year. It currently has 160 operator members, which run 16,500 outlets between them and employ c375,000 people.

ALMR chairman Steve Richards said: "David leaves the executive of the association in a much stronger position with a breadth of membership that now spans all sectors. I am delighted at David's continued involvement on the council as we continue to grow the representation of food led businesses."

In a statement the Board said: “Kate brings 20 years’ of experience with her of the sector and an unrivalled insight into politics and public affairs. Her appointment retains the ALMR’s consistent, individual and effective voice and we are really looking forward to continuing to work with her.”

Related topics Other operators

Related news

Show more