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Executive Movements - April 2019






Black Bear Diner Strengthens C-Suite Executive Team with Two Promotions


The company announces the promotions of Anita Adams to President / CFO, and Steve Standlea to COO


April 15, 2019 10:13 AM Eastern Daylight Time

REDDING, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Black Bear Diner, the fast-growing, family dining concept that offers a one-of-a-kind experience and home-style comfort food classics in a friendly, bear-themed atmosphere, has announced the promotion of Anita Adams to President and Chief Financial Officer and Steve Standlea to Chief Operating Officer. Both Adams and Standlea will report directly to Black Bear Diner CEO & Co-Founder Bruce Dean.

“Steve Standlea’s role as COO echoes his growing responsibility in our business over all aspects of operations. From training and construction to diner operations and administration, Steve plays a crucial role on our Black Bear Diner team. “Anita and Steve have been strong members of our leadership team and these promotions signify the importance of their leadership and vision for Black Bear Diner, as we continue to grow and expand,” said Dean. “Anita has played a strong role in growing our business beyond a traditional CFO role. She has become a trusted voice of advice and leadership to myself and others at Black Bear Diner.” Dean continued, “Steve Standlea’s role as COO echoes his growing responsibility in our business over all aspects of operations. From training and construction to diner operations and administration, Steve plays a crucial role on our Black Bear Diner team.” Adams joined Black Bear Diner in March 2017 as CFO. Standlea joined the company in September 2017 and most recently served as Senior Vice President Operations Support. As part of a strengthened C-suite leadership team, both individuals will focus on advising Dean and continuing to improve operations and drive sales growth. Black Bear Diner has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing franchises in the country, opening 15 diners in 2018 and 8 already in 2019. The company has also been acknowledged as a disruptor in the family-dining segment for its growth and performance, and will continue to focus on serving home-style comfort food classics as the brand continues to execute its expansion plan. About Black Bear Diner Founded in Mt. Shasta, Calif., in 1995, Black Bear Diner brings home-style comfort food classics and personal service to the dining experience. The quickly growing family dining concept, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offers a vast, enticing menu anchored in hearty portions and excellent value, with service rooted in genuine hospitality. The franchise now operates 128 locations in 13 states and growing. Black Bear Diner has been consistently recognized for its significant growth and outstanding performance. The company has been recognized as a Top 10 Customer Service Winner, a Top 10 Fastest-Growing Chain and a Top Disruptor from Nation’s Restaurant News. Franchise Times has called Black Bear Diner one of the “smartest-growing brands” in the country. For a full menu and additional information, please visit blackbeardiner.com.

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CKE RESTAURANTS PROMOTES NED LYERLY TO CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – April 12, 2019 – CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”), parent company of Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s®, today announced the appointment of Ned Lyerly as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Lyerly succeeds Jason Marker. The Company also announced that industry veteran George Condos has joined the Board as Chairman.

Mr. Lyerly has served CKE for over three decades. Most recently he was President of International, and he has held a variety of senior roles including development, finance, marketing, and franchise operations. Mr. Lyerly has contributed to the development of more than one third of the company’s restaurants, including the rapid expansion of its international division from 50 restaurants to almost 1,000. Mr. Condos brings 30 years of industry experience to CKE’s Board, having held senior leadership roles including at Arby's, Dunkin’ Brands and Dairy Queen.

“I am a passionate believer in the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s brands and am honored to serve as Chief Executive Officer,” stated Mr. Lyerly. “Our brands each have tremendous heritage built on great products, great people, great experiences and decades of performance. We will leverage these equities to solidify our place as QSR brands of choice with best-in-class menu offerings centered on premium products and industry-leading guest service.”

“Ned is a focused leader and proven restaurant operator who is deeply respected by many within CKE’s franchise community. His track record of success, passion for our brands, and deep understanding of the business make him the right leader for CKE going forward,” said Ezra Field, CKE Board Member.

About CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. CKE, a privately held company based in Franklin, Tennessee, runs and operates Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s®, two beloved regional brands, known for premium and innovative menu items such as 100 percent Black Angus Thickburgers®, Made from Scratch™ Biscuits and Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders™. With both a US and international footprint, Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC and Hardee’s Restaurants LLC have over 3,800 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 44 states and 43 foreign countries and U.S. territories. For more information about CKE, please visit www.ckr.com or its brand sites at www.carlsjr.com and www.hardees.com.

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Grub Welcomes Jim Saunders as COO

April 10, 2019

Bryan, TX  (RestaurantNews.com)  Grub has announced the appointment of Jim Saunders to the role of Chief Operating Officer. Founder and CEO of Grub, Jimmy Loup, was eager to find a COO who shares Grub’s Purpose and Values: “We are honored to welcome Jim into the Grub family. Saunders joins Grub from Twin Peaks Restaurants, where he served as Vice President of Operations. He also served as Regional Director of the west at On the Border and Regional Director of Operations at Northstar Restaurants. Jim has a stellar reputation as an extraordinary operator and leader, and has decades of experience in the restaurant industry to offer to Grub. His energy, drive, and breadth of experience will serve our company well as we continue to grow our brand.” “I am excited to be joining such an extraordinary brand,” said Saunders of his new position. “I have a strong connection with Jimmy’s vision and look forward to our partnership. I feel we will complement each other. I see the brand as a stand-out and I’m excited to partner with Grub’s talented team as we take the business to the next level. I’ve always been a fan of Grub and I’m honored to join them.” Jim adds, “As the new COO, I look forward to exceeding Jimmy’s vision of operational excellence. I am most excited about utilizing my expertise in operations and brand development. Founded as a single location in College Station, TX, Grub now operates 24 private and franchise-owned locations across 7 states. Plans for growth continue with Katy, TX, slated to open in summer 2019. About Grub Grub is a made from scratch restaurant offering eclectic burgers, bowls, sandwiches, shakes, and a full bar. Grub aims to provide an extraordinary experience to each and every guest, from menu offerings to the service provided. Community involvement and philanthropy are integral parts of Grub’s foundation. Grub currently has locations in Texas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Florida.

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First Watch Expands Senior Leadership Team to Support Continued Growth

April 9, 2019

The company has appointed three new senior vice presidents. Bradenton, FL  (RestaurantNews.com)  First Watch announced today that it has appointed three new senior leaders to its growing leadership team: Matthew Eisenacher, senior vice president of brand strategy and innovation; Rob Conti, senior vice president of information technology; and Calum Middleton, senior vice president and treasurer. Matthew Eisenacher joins the First Watch team in the newly created role of senior vice president of brand strategy and innovation. Eisenacher oversees all marketing and communications functions. He joins First Watch after spending five years with Columbus, Ohio-based Piada Italian Street Food. He most recently served the restaurant company as chief concept officer, where he was responsible for marketing, branding, catering and technology. Eisenacher earned his bachelor’s in finance and business management from Ohio University and his MBA in marketing from Ohio State University. Rob Conti, the company’s new senior vice president of information technology, now oversees all technology strategy, innovation, execution and support for the 360-restaurant company. Conti joins First Watch following career stops in both restaurant operations and information technology at Cisco, Hard Rock International and Disney, where he leveraged technology and data to enhance the guest experience and increase operating efficiencies. Conti brings more than 30 years’ experience leading people, technology and business solutions to First Watch. Calum Middleton joined First Watch in 2015 as the director of financial planning and analysis and quickly progressed through the ranks to the newly created senior vice president and treasurer position. He oversees a team of financial and real estate analysts and manages relationships with the company’s financial partners. Prior to joining First Watch, he served in various financial and treasury roles in the real estate and software industries. Middleton earned his bachelor’s degree and a PhD in Finance from the University of Dundee in Scotland. “We recognize that in order to successfully achieve our planned long-term growth, we need experienced industry veterans who understands our mission, believe in our vision and whose values match those of First Watch,” said Chris Tomasso, First Watch president & CEO. About First Watch First Watch specializes in award-winning, made-to-order Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch. A recipient of more than 200 “Best Breakfast” and “Best Brunch” accolades, First Watch offers traditional favorites, such as omelets, pancakes, sandwiches and salads, and unique specialty items like Quinoa Power Bowls, Avocado Toast and the Chickichanga. First Watch was recognized as one of TripAdvisor’s Best Restaurant Chains for 2019, one of Business Intelligence Group’s Best Places to Work in 2018 and as one of Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2017 Second 100 restaurant brands. First Watch is the largest and fastest-growing daytime-only restaurant concept in the United States with more than 360 restaurants in 32 states, including more than 300 First Watch restaurants and 55 The Egg & I restaurants and one Sun & Fork restaurant. For more information, visit firstwatch.com.

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Farmer Boys Finds New Vice President / Chief People Officer in Arlene Estrada Petokas

April 9, 2019

Petokas Will Oversee Employee Development & Help Drive System-Wide Performance Riverside, CA  (RestaurantNews.com)  Farmer Boys®, the farm fresh fast casual concept known for its award-winning burgers and exceptional service, has hired restaurant industry and human resources veteran Arlene Estrada Petokas to serve as the brand’s new Vice President and Chief People Officer. In this position, Petokas will be responsible for developing and executing people strategies that support the company’s operational goals and will help drive performance within the organization. “I am excited to join a brand and an executive leadership team that is committed to its people and their focus on ensuring the culture supports them as they grow,” said Petokas. “I look forward to helping nurture company culture and driving team member growth and development within the organization.” Petokas brings with her more than twenty years of human resources experience, with over a decade spent at quick-service restaurant companies. Her previous positions include Human Resources Director at Del Taco, LLC and VP Human Resources at both BLD Brands, LLC and CKE Restaurant Holdings Inc., which owns Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s Green Burrito, and Red Burrito. “We were impressed with Arlene’s extensive experience in human resources and the restaurant industry. She brings a compassionate approach to people and a passion for the restaurant industry,” said Karen Eadon, President and COO of Farmer Boys. “She’s managed and implemented successful HR practices at her previous organizations, and we look forward to having her on the Farmer Boys team to develop our business capabilities and lead our team members to function at their greatest level.” Petokas lives in Irvine, Calif. with her family. Her first few weeks at Farmer Boys will be spent learning how the restaurants operate, as well as touring the field and meeting with restaurant teams. About Farmer Boys® Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Riverside, California, Farmer Boys® is a fast casual restaurant chain serving award-winning burgers, specialty sandwiches, crisp salads, signature sides and all day breakfast. Farmer Boys knows farm fresh food will never go out of style. Today, thanks to an ever-expanding franchise operation, the Farmer Boys family continues to grow. The chain continues to seek sites and franchisees in new and existing regions. Farmer Boys currently operates 92 restaurants in California and Nevada. For more information, visit www.farmerboys.com.

View source version at Farmer Boys


Subway names former Land O' Lakes tech exec as CIO

April 9, 2019 Subway Restaurants has named former Land O' Lakes technology executive, Mike Macrie, as its CIO, a news release said. Macrie is credited with pioneering the use of satellite imagery to manage large farms and boost crop yields. At Land O' Lakes, Macrie led a transformational and digital effort that modernized the corporation's core applications and made significant industry-leading investments in advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and digital marketing. He now oversees Subway's digital initiatives and has a master's in business administration from Duke University.

View source version at Subway



KOna Grill Names Christi Hing Temporary CEOThe appointment of Christi Hing, the struggling chain’s current CFO, marks the company’s fifth top leadership change in less than a year. By Heather Lalley on Apr. 08, 2019

Floundering chain Kona Grill Inc. appointed its chief financial officer to interim chief executive Monday, marking the Asian-fusion brand’s fifth top leadership change in less than a year.Christi Hing, currently Kona Grill’s CFO, will serve as the chain’s principal executive officer while it undertakes a chief executive search following the resignation of CEO and co-founder Marcus Jundt late last month, the company announced in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.The struggling chain Monday also shuttered a location in a Chandler, Ariz., mall, according to local media reports. Last week, Kona Grill—which has seen revenue drop 12.4% year over year and debts rise to $32 million—alerted the government it would be filing its annual earnings report late following Jundt’s resignation. Jundt’s resignation, along with that of Berke Bakay—the company’s executive chairman, director and former CEO—comes as Kona Grill’s board appointed an investor to head the chain’s strategic alternatives committee. Shawn Hassel, co-founder and managing partner of Park City, Utah-based investment firm Bestige Holdings, will lead the company as it pursues a possible sale. Jundt become co-CEO with Rainforest Cafe founder Steve Schussler in November. Less than two months later, Jundt became sole CEO. Earlier this year, Nasdaq informed Kona Grill that it could be delisted from the stock exchange if it does not adhere to the market’s valuation rule. The compliance deadline for the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company is June 26.

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Red Robin Announces Retirement of President and CEO Denny Marie Post

April 3, 2019

Board of Directors Forms Search Committee Board Chair Pattye Moore to Serve as Interim CEO Greenwood Village, CO  (RestaurantNews.com)  Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc., (NASDAQ:RRGB), a full-service restaurant chain serving an innovative selection of high-quality gourmet burgers in a family-friendly atmosphere, today announced that following discussions with the Board of Directors, Denny Marie Post has chosen to retire as President and CEO on April 3, 2019. The Board of Directors has formed a search committee to identify her successor and also appointed Pattye Moore, Board Chair, as Interim CEO. Ms. Moore has been a director of Red Robin since 2007 and Board Chair since 2010. She previously served as a Board Member and President at Sonic Corp. among other executive positions during her 12 years with the brand. “We want to recognize Denny for her leadership, commitment to and passion for the Red Robin brand over the last seven years in her roles as CMO, President and CEO. On behalf of the board, I want to thank Denny for her contributions and wish her well in retirement,” said Pattye Moore, Board Chair and Interim CEO. “The board intends to move quickly on the search process as the Company continues to execute our turnaround plan in this challenging and rapidly evolving casual dining landscape. Our search effort will focus on identifying an external candidate who recognizes the urgency of strengthening and stabilizing our dine-in business as well as the importance of continuing our evolution to an omni-channel brand that can provide customers with exceptional experiences and our craveable food where, when and how they want it,” added Pattye Moore, Board Chair and Interim CEO. “My years at Red Robin have been by far the most satisfying of my career. We made great strides evolving the brand and have a strategy in place which will ensure Red Robin serves generations of families for years to come. I am confident the team will continue to realize that vision,” said Denny Marie Post. Ms. Post will serve as an advisor as the search committee identifies a new CEO. Pattye Moore, Board Chair and Interim CEO, concluded, “Through the first three periods of the fiscal first quarter ending March 24, 2019, comparable restaurant revenue, using constant currency rates, has decreased 3.6%. This reflects, in part, the challenging weather that affected several regions of the US. The weather impact for these periods, estimated to be 100 to 150 basis points, primarily drove sales performance below our expectations.” About Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ:RRGB) Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (www.redrobin.com), a casual dining restaurant chain founded in 1969 that operates through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Red Robin International, Inc., and under the trade name Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews, is the Gourmet Burger Authority™, famous for serving more than two dozen craveable, high-quality burgers with Bottomless Steak Fries® in a fun environment welcoming to guests of all ages. Whether a family dining with kids, adults grabbing a drink at the bar, or teens enjoying a meal, Red Robin offers an unparalleled experience for its guests. In addition to its many burger offerings, Red Robin serves a wide variety of salads, soups, appetizers, entrees, desserts, and signature beverages. Red Robin offers a variety of options behind the bar, including its extensive selection of local and regional beers, and innovative adult beer shakes and cocktails, earning the restaurant a VIBE Vista Award for Best Beer Program in a Multi-Unit Chain Restaurant. There are more than 570 Red Robin restaurants across the United States and Canada, including locations operating under franchise agreements. Red Robin… YUMMM®! Connect with Red Robin on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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Little Caesars Hires Jeff Klein As New Senior Vice President Of Global Marketing

April 3, 2019

Seasoned Marketing Executive to Take Lead of Storied Global Pizza Brand Detroit, MI  (RestaurantNews.com)  Little Caesars is excited to announce that Jeff Klein will take on the role of Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at the nearly 60-year-old pizza company. Klein has served nearly 20 years in progressive marketing leadership positions, most recently spending the last 2 years at PepsiCo as chief marketing officer for global foodservice. Prior to that Jeff spent 10 years at Frito-Lay North America in various marketing roles including VP core brands where he led the growth agenda for Doritos, Lays, Cheetos, and Tostitos. Little Caesars, home of the Hot-N-Ready Pizza and Pizza Portal pickup, is changing the way customers pick up pizza. The brand, which focuses on bringing customers value, quality, and convenience, will continue to evolve with the addition of new top marketing talent. “I’m excited to welcome Jeff to our organization,” said Dave Scrivano, President and CEO of Little Caesars, “With his impressive achievements and experience, I know we can count on him to grow our global brand and continue to shake up the pizza game like we’ve been doing for the past 60 years.” Jeff graduated with honors from Ontario’s Wilfrid Laurier University.  Personally, Jeff is a strong supporter of Autism Speaks, an avid runner, and is a self-described “weekend chef”. “I’m honored to be joining a storied family-focused brand with such a great reputation,” said Klein, “I can’t wait to extend our brand voice even further, sharing Little Caesars marketing message with consumers around the world.” About Little Caesars® Pizza Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Little Caesars was founded in 1959 as a single, family-owned restaurant.  Today, Little Caesars is the largest carryout-only pizza chain in the United States and the third largest pizza chain in the world, with stores in each of the 50 states and 24 countries and territories around the world. Known for its HOT-N-READY® pizza and famed Crazy Bread®, Little Caesars has been named “Best Value in America” for the past twelve years (based on nationwide survey of national quick service restaurant customers conducted by Sandelman & Associates – 2007-2018 entitled “Highest Rated Chain – Value for the Money”).  Little Caesars products are made with quality ingredients, like fresh, never frozen, mozzarella and Muenster cheese and sauce made from fresh-packed, vine-ripened California crushed tomatoes. An exceptionally high growth company with nearly 60 years of experience in the $145 billion worldwide pizza industry, Little Caesars is continually looking for franchisee candidates to join our team in markets around the world. In addition to providing the opportunity for entrepreneurial independence in a franchise system, Little Caesars offers strong brand awareness with one of the most recognized and appealing characters in the country, Little Caesar.

View source version at Little Caesars


Bojangles’ Names Jackie Woodward Chief Marketing Officer

April 2, 2019

Charlotte, NC  (RestaurantNews.com)  Bojangles’, Inc. today announced that brand strategist and marketing veteran Jackie Woodward has joined the company as its new Chief Marketing Officer, reporting directly to Jose Armario, Chief Executive Officer. Woodward will work alongside the brand’s respected long-time marketing chief Randy Poindexter over the next several months to ensure a seamless transition. The company recently announced Poindexter’s retirement after 28 years as the iconic brand’s top marketing executive. Woodward comes to Bojangles’ with more than 30 years of marketing experience in domestic and global markets. In addition to recently serving as Global Chief Marketing Officer for North Carolina-based Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation, she also served as Vice President of Global Media for General Mills, Inc. and Vice President of Marketing Services for MillerCoors, LLC. She spent 17 years with McDonald’s Corporation, serving the last five as Corporate Vice President of Global Marketing. Woodward is known for her transformational leadership and has a history of cultivating and building dynamic marketing teams. “While replacing a marketing professional of Randy Poindexter’s caliber was a challenging task, we believe Jackie is the right growth-oriented marketer to lead the Bojangles’ marketing team going forward,” said Armario, who joined the company earlier this year. “The Bojangles’ brand is recognized for its pioneering, innovative, engaging and memorable marketing campaigns, and we plan to continue our unique approach to reaching consumers with Jackie at the helm. We are thrilled to have her join the Bojangles’ family.” Poindexter added, “I am certain that Jackie is the right person to step in as Chief Marketing Officer at this time. She is a talented marketing leader with a unique understanding of iconic Southern brands. We are lucky to have her coming on board as we move into the next exciting phase of our growth.” As CMO with sweet-treat restaurant brand Krispy Kreme, Woodward collaborated with franchisees domestically and internationally to define a global brand strategy. “I am incredibly excited to be the next marketing chief at such an iconic brand,” Woodward said. “The Bojangles’ brand has an amazing fan following across all marketing touch points, and it is an honor to join the successful marketing team Randy has assembled. I appreciate the opportunity to be part of the extraordinary things happening at this company and look forward to working with our franchise partners to share the Bojangles’ experience with more and more new guests across the country.” As Marketing Chief for the popular, fast-growing restaurant operator and franchisor, Woodward will be responsible for all aspects of brand growth. She will officially take on her new duties on April 8. About Bojangles’, Inc. Bojangles’, Inc. is a highly differentiated and growing restaurant operator and franchisor dedicated to serving customers high-quality, craveable food made from our Southern recipes, including breakfast served All Day, Every Day. Founded in 1977 in Charlotte, N.C., Bojangles’® serves menu items such as made-from-scratch biscuit breakfast sandwiches, delicious hand-breaded bone-in chicken, flavorful fixin’s (sides) and Legendary Iced Tea®. For more information, visit www.bojangles.com or follow Bojangles’ on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

View source version at Bojangles'


Papa John’s Appoints Karlin Linhardt as Global Chief Marketing Officer


March 28, 2019 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA), one of the world’s largest pizza delivery companies, today announced the appointment of Karlin Linhardt as its Global Chief Marketing Officer. Mr. Linhardt is a veteran marketing leader with deep Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) category experience and C-suite executive roles at global Fortune-500 restaurant companies, consumer brands and top professional services firms, including Anheuser-Busch, McDonald’s, Accenture and Subway. In his most recent role, Mr. Linhardt served as Senior Vice President of Marketing for North America for Subway Restaurants, where he led brand management and guest experience for 30,000 restaurants and designed the company’s global brand transformation plan. Prior to Subway, Mr. Linhardt served as a Senior Consultant of Business and Digital Strategies at Accenture, a leading global professional services company. “Karlin is a seasoned marketing executive who I am confident will contribute to our ‘BETTER INGREDIENTS. BETTER PIZZA.’ brand value proposition,” said Papa John’s President and CEO Steve Ritchie. “The addition of Karlin as Global Chief Marketing Officer is one of the many significant steps we’ve taken to improve our brand differentiation, which includes enhancing our quality positioning in the category. Karlin’s combined restaurant, franchise and consumer brand experience make him an excellent addition to the Papa John’s leadership team.” Mr. Linhardt’s QSR experience includes 10 years at McDonald’s, where he led initiatives that were critical to the brand’s turnaround, including kids & family (Happy Meals), value (Dollar Menu) and premium burger products (Big Mac, Quarter Pounder). He has led strategic business and marketing efforts across multiple brand categories that include restaurant, retail, consumer packaged goods, media, sports marketing and entertainment. Mr. Linhardt has also led partnerships with world-class brands such as Disney, Walmart and Coca-Cola, and served on the Board of Directors for Perkins & Marie Callender’s Restaurants for seven years. “Strong marketing leadership is critical to driving the success of our brand and our business,” said Bo Knapp, Papa John’s Franchise Advisory Council Marketing Committee Chairman. “Karlin appreciates the important role franchisees play in the organization and understands the needs of the franchise system. I welcome him to Papa John’s and look forward to working closely with him in his new role.” “I am excited to join Papa John’s and begin working with the talented leadership and marketing teams to build upon the work underway,” said Mr. Linhardt. “I’m a fan of Papa John’s high-quality product and I look forward to helping tell that quality story to customers in new ways.” About Papa John's Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John's International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world's third-largest pizza delivery company. In 2018, consumers rated Papa John’s No. 1 in product and service quality among national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). For 17 of the past 19 years, consumers have rated Papa John's No. 1 in customer satisfaction among national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John's at www.papajohns.com.

View source version at Papa John's


The ONE Group Appoints Tyler Loy as CFO


Linda Siluk named Chief Administrative Officer


March 28, 2019 04:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc. (“The ONE Group” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: STKS) today announced the appointment of Tyler Loy as Chief Financial Officer effective April 1, 2019. Linda Siluk, who is serving as Interim Chief Financial Officer, has been named to the newly created position of Chief Administrative Officer effective April 1, 2019. Emanuel (“Manny”) Hilario, President and CEO of The ONE Group, said, “We congratulate Tyler on his promotion and new role as our Chief Financial Officer and are highly confident that he is ideally suited for the position. Tyler recently joined the Company but has already made important contributions to enhancing our operating performance and is ready to take on additional responsibilities in leading our finance team. I have personally worked closely with him at other restaurant companies and can attest to the breadth of his industry, financial, operational and strategic experience. We are also gratified that Linda has agreed to become a permanent member of The ONE Group family as our Chief Administrative Officer, where she will be responsible for the Company’s legal and leasing administration, risk management, and taxation. Through these appointments, our executive leadership is now in place and we intend to work closely together to capitalize on the growing demand for unique vibe-dining experiences like STK and capture additional white space opportunities for our global brand.” Mr. Loy has served as Vice President of Strategy at The ONE Group since September 2018. Prior, he was the Vice President of Finance for Pacific Bells, a large Taco Bell and Buffalo Wild Wings franchisee. Mr. Loy began his career in operations at McCormick and Schmick's Seafood Restaurants later moving into corporate finance. Between 2011 and 2016, he held various positions of increasing responsibility at Einstein Noah Restaurant Group in corporate finance, marketing, operations and strategy, serving most recently as Vice President of Catering. Mr. Loy received a B.A. in finance from Washington State University. About The ONE Group The ONE Group (NASDAQ: STKS) is a global hospitality company that develops and operates upscale, high-energy restaurants and lounges and provides hospitality management services for hotels, casinos and other high-end venues both nationally and internationally. The ONE Group’s focus is to be the global leader in Vibe Dining, and its primary restaurant brand is STK, a modern twist on the American steakhouse concept with locations in major metropolitan cities in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. ONE Hospitality, The ONE Group’s food and beverage hospitality services business, develops, manages and operates premier restaurants and turn-key food and beverage services within high-end hotels and casinos. Additional information about The ONE Group can be found at www.togrp.com

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Little Caesars® Promotes Ed Gleich To Chief Innovation Officer

Newly-Created Innovation Role Positions Company to Continue Its Storied History of Innovation with Visionary Leader at the Helm



Mar 27, 2019, 15:53 ET


DETROIT, March 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Little Caesars, home of the Hot-N-Ready® Pizza, is excited to announce the promotion of long-time global marketing executive Edward Gleich to Chief Innovation Officer.


Gleich joined the company in 2011 in the lead marketing role. During his tenure, he expanded the brand into national media advertising, evolved the core menu with the launch of the DEEP!DEEP!™ Dish Pizza and the ExtraMostBestest®pizza, added thin crust pizza to the menu, and promoted incredibly successful limited time offers, including the Bacon Wrapped DEEP!DEEP! Dish pizza and the cult-favorite Pretzel Crust pizza.

In this newly-created position, Ed will work cross-functionally to develop ideas and processes, strategically moving potential innovations from seed stage to implementation. He will evaluate changing business needs and allocate resources to continue pushing the brand and its unique offerings forward. "During his seven years with Little Caesars, Ed has successfully led our global marketing function, contributing to strong sales and store level profit growth," said Little Caesars President and CEO David Scrivano. "With innovation at the forefront of the rapidly changing restaurant industry, I'm excited to see the results he'll achieve over the next several years." The chain's history of game-changing innovations includes:

  1. Pizza!Pizza!® – Two great pizzas for one low price

  2. Hot-N-Ready® – Pizza ready when you are – no need to wait or call ahead

  3. Pizza Portal® Pickup – Order online and pick up your custom pizza from your personal heated self-service pickup station "I couldn't be more excited to build upon the company's strong foundation of innovation pioneered by our founder Mike Ilitch," said Gleich. "Little Caesars has always challenged itself to think differently to make customers' lives easier. We have done just that for nearly 60 years, and I can't wait to continue this worthwhile tradition." About Little Caesars® Pizza Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Little Caesars was founded in 1959 as a single, family-owned restaurant.  Today, Little Caesars is the largest carryout-only pizza chain in the United States and the third largest pizza chain in the world, with stores in each of the 50 states and 24 countries and territories around the world. Known for its HOT-N-READY® pizza and famed Crazy Bread®, Little Caesars has been named "Best Value in America" for the past twelve years (based on nationwide survey of national quick service restaurant customers conducted by Sandelman & Associates - 2007-2018 entitled "Highest Rated Chain – Value for the Money").  Little Caesars products are made with quality ingredients, like fresh, never frozen, mozzarella and Muenster cheese and sauce made from fresh-packed, vine-ripened California crushed tomatoes. An exceptionally high growth company with nearly 60 years of experience in the $145 billion worldwide pizza industry, Little Caesars is continually looking for franchisee candidates to join our team in markets around the world. In addition to providing the opportunity for entrepreneurial independence in a franchise system, Little Caesars offers strong brand awareness with one of the most recognized and appealing characters in the country, Little Caesar.

View source version at Little Caesars


Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Promotes New Chief Financial Officer

March 27, 2019


View source version at Dickey's,/p>


Thomas Kim Named CFO for Smoothie King

March, 26 2019

Smoothie Kin has named Thomas Kim as its new chief financial officer on the heels of its biggest growth year ever. Kim joins Smoothie King from Plano, Texas-based YourCause, a corporate social giving software technology company where he served as chief financial officer. He was responsible for planning, leading and executing finance, accounting and legal operations to grow the company rapidly. Prior to YourCause, Kim served as the chief financial officer of Working Solutions, where he led all finance, accounting, business intelligence and corporate development initiatives. He also served in various roles in investment banking at Citigroup and MHT Partners, and management consulting at Boston Consulting Group. "Tom has a strong track record as a strategic CFO for high-growth companies, which is a perfect fit for Smoothie King as we continue our rapid expansion," said Smoothie King CEO Wan Kim (who is not related to Tom Kim). "Not only are we growing, we are also transitioning into a health and wellness brand with our ongoing focus on the Clean Blends initiative, and Tom's strong financial leadership will ensure we remain well-positioned to continue leading the smoothie category." Smoothie King opened its 1,000th store in 2018, making it the largest chain in the smoothie category based on number of locations. It also reported a more than 10 percent increase in U.S. systemwide sales as it continued rolling out its industry-leading Clean Blends innovation that makes smoothies more nutritious to support guests' health and fitness journeys. "As an executive who has worked with several fast-growing companies, I am invigorated by the challenge of joining Smoothie King at the most dynamic time in its long history," said Tom Kim. "The team is incredibly committed to Smoothie King's mission and has worked hard to grow it into the world's leading smoothie brand, and I look forward to helping the company reach even greater heights." Kim holds an MBA from Harvard and a bachelor's degree in economics from the U. S. Military Academy at West Point.

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Inspire Brands Names Raghu Sagi Chief Information Officer


March 25, 2019 12:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Inspire Brands today announced that Raghu Sagi will join the company as Chief Information Officer. Sagi will be responsible for leading technology initiatives across the Inspire enterprise, including leveraging existing and emerging technologies to enhance the experience for the more than 1.7 billion guest interactions in our restaurants each year. Sagi most recently served as Chief Engineering Officer for Sephora Americas (an LVMH brand) where he was responsible for Omni-Channel Digital, Retail, Personalization & CRM including Loyalty, and Data Insights technology capabilities and platforms. Among the many industry awards and recognition won by Sephora overall during his tenure were the L2 Digital IQ “Genius” ranking (5 years in a row), Retailer Of The Year (2018), WWD Beauty “Visionary” (2016), and others. Prior to Sephora, Sagi held technology leadership positions at Walmart, and before that was at Best Buy and Accenture. Sagi will join Inspire effective April 15. He will report to Inspire Chief Executive Officer Paul Brown and will be based out of the Atlanta Support Center. Former CIO Darla Morse will transition from Inspire to become Chief Information Officer of CKE Restaurants, a restaurant company that is also majority-owned by Roark. “I am thrilled to welcome Raghu to Inspire. He is an exceptional, innovative leader who has extensive experience in utilizing technology to fundamentally enhance the customer experience. Many initiatives he has led over his career are widely considered the benchmark for the implementation of cutting-edge digital technologies in the retail space,” said Paul Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Inspire Brands. “Raghu will be instrumental in the digital transformation of Inspire and our brands.” “I also want to thank Darla for her many contributions to Arby’s and Inspire over the years and wish her the best in her new endeavor,” said Brown. About Inspire Brands Inspire Brands is a multi-brand restaurant company whose portfolio includes more than 8,300 Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, SONIC Drive-In, and Rusty Taco locations worldwide. The company was founded in 2018 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, visit InspireBrands.com.

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CKE Restaurants Appoints Darla Morse as Chief Information Officer

March 25, 2019 11:35 AM Eastern Daylight Time



FRANKLIN, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc., (“CKE”), parent company of Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s® restaurants today announced Darla Morse will join the company as Chief Information Officer. Morse most recently served as Chief Information Officer of Inspire Brands and brings extensive restaurant technology experience to CKE. At Inspire she led initiatives to enhance the restaurant experience and drive operational efficiencies for the multi-brand restaurant company whose portfolio includes more than 8,300 Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Rusty Taco and Sonic Drive-In locations worldwide. She was previously CIO of Arby’s, served as CIO of SeaWorld and spent 17 years with Walt Disney World Resorts in a variety of technology roles. “Darla has extensive and valuable food industry experience that will help guide the evolution of our company and our brands,” said Jason Marker, Chief Executive Officer, CKE. “We’re thrilled to leverage Darla’s technology expertise to drive efficiencies internally, externally and among our franchisees.” In her role as Chief Information Officer, Morse will oversee global information systems to support our internal and external operations, and build an infrastructure that is optimized in support of CKE’s global growth strategy. “I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity ahead with CKE,” said Darla Morse, Chief Information Officer, CKE. “I’m looking forward to applying my experience with restaurant technologies to take the CKE digital infrastructure to the next level.” About CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”), a privately held company based in Franklin, Tennessee, runs and operates Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s®, two beloved regional brands, known for one-of-a-kind premium and innovative menu items such as 100 percent Black Angus Thickburgers®, Made from Scratch™ Biscuits and Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders™. With both a US and international footprint, Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC and Hardee’s Restaurants LLC have over 3,800 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 44 states and 43 foreign countries and U.S. territories. For more information about CKE, please visit www.ckr.com or its brand sites at www.carlsjr.com and www.hardees.com.

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Shaquille O’Neal Joins Papa John's Board


O’Neal to Join Company’s Board of Directors and Invest in Nine Papa John’s Restaurants in Atlanta



March 22, 2019 08:29 AM Eastern Daylight Time

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) today announced that NBA Hall of Famer and restaurateur Shaquille O’Neal will be joining Papa John’s as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors and as an investor in nine Papa John’s restaurants in the Atlanta, Georgia area. In addition, Mr. O’Neal will enter into a marketing agreement to be an ambassador for the Papa John’s brand. A four-time NBA champion and television sports analyst on Inside the NBA, Mr. O’Neal has established a strong business track record as an investor, restaurateur and franchise owner. He currently owns a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts franchise in Atlanta and previously owned 27 Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchises. In addition, he is the founder and owner of Big Chicken, a fast casual fried chicken restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Shaquille’s, a fine dining restaurant in Los Angeles, California. He is also a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise. As a partner, endorser and spokesperson, Mr. O’Neal has significant experience helping to market and grow leading consumer brands across multiple categories. “We are thrilled to partner with Shaquille and welcome him to the Papa John’s Board,” said Jeff Smith, Chairman of the Papa John’s Board of Directors. “Shaquille has an excellent entrepreneurial background, including as a restaurant franchise owner, and is a natural creative marketer. Shaquille has demonstrated great success through understanding the customer value proposition with product and brand differentiation. The Board and I are excited to work with Shaquille and look forward to the terrific possibilities to strengthen our position together.” Steve Ritchie, President and CEO of Papa John’s, said, “In addition to his business acumen, Shaquille understands how to build lasting connections with consumers and energize employees. I look forward to working with him as a board member and brand partner to advance the many initiatives we are pursuing across the organization to create even greater success for Papa John’s and our stakeholders.” “I have truly enjoyed the high-quality Papa John’s product for years and am excited to be able to help Papa John’s raise their game to new heights,” said Mr. O’Neal. “This is a triple threat opportunity for me. I am excited to join the Board and to help lead from the top, while also investing in nine stores in my home town of Atlanta and being an ambassador for the brand. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board and using my experience in business and community to build on the progress being made at Papa John’s. Papa John’s is building a better culture, and I want to be a part of improving the Company from the inside out.” Including Mr. O’Neal, six new directors have been added to the Company’s Board of Directors in 2019. This includes four new independent directors, Jeff Smith, CEO of Starboard Value who also is Papa John’s new independent Chairman, Michael Dubin, CEO and Founder of Dollar Shave Club, Jocelyn Mangan, CEO and Founder of Him For Her and a former executive at Snagajob and OpenTable, and Anthony Sanfilippo, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Entertainment, as well as Steve Ritchie, President and CEO of Papa John’s. About Shaquille O’Neal Mr. O’Neal’s business career includes success in broadcasting, endorsements, music, television and gaming. He has served as an analyst on Inside the NBA since 2011. He has been an investor in franchised and other restaurants since 2010 and actively operates Big Chicken, a fast casual fried chicken restaurant in Las Vegas, and Shaquille’s, a fine dining restaurant in Los Angeles. Mr. O’Neal is considered to be one of the most dominant basketball players in NBA history, drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft. His NBA career spanned from 1992 until 2011. He serves on the national Board of Directors of Communities In Schools, a non-profit devoted to empowering students to stay in school and achieve in life. About Papa John’s Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world’s third-largest pizza delivery company. In 2018, consumers rated Papa John’s No. 1 in product and service quality among national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). For 17 of the past 19 years, consumers have rated Papa John’s No. 1 in customer satisfaction among national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). For more information about the Company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John’s at www.papajohns.com.

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Papa John’s Appoints Michael Dubin and Jocelyn Mangan to Board of Directors

March, 19 2019

New Independent Directors Bring Strong Records Growing Innovative Consumer Brands and Restaurant Related Companies as well as Substantial Marketing, Technology and Operations Expertise

Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) last week announced that Michael Dubin, CEO and Founder of Dollar Shave Club, and Jocelyn Mangan, CEO and Founder of Him For Her and a former executive at Snagajob and OpenTable, have been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors as new independent directors. “We are pleased to welcome Michael and Jocelyn to the Papa John’s Board,” said Jeff Smith, Chairman of the Papa John’s Board of Directors. “Michael has a strong record of building innovative consumer brands and deep marketing and business operations expertise. Through her executive roles at Snagajob and OpenTable, and as a member of the ChowNow Board, Jocelyn has substantial technology and product strategy experience, including developing mobile apps and leading software products for consumer, restaurant and marketplace companies. We expect their skills and insights to contribute to the positive actions we have underway to capitalize on Papa John’s ‘BETTER INGREDIENTS. BETTER PIZZA.’ market position.” Mr. Dubin said, “I am honored to join the Papa John’s Board and look forward to working closely with my fellow directors and the Papa John’s team to realize the full potential of the Company’s brand and differentiated market position.” Ms. Mangan said, “Papa John’s was the first company in its category to launch many technology initiatives, including online ordering across all of its restaurants nationwide. I am excited to contribute as a director to the ongoing strategy and product development that will enable Papa John’s technology leadership well into the future.” About Michael Dubin Michael Dubin currently serves as CEO of Dollar Shave Club, a role held since 2011. Dollar Shave Club was acquired by Unilever in 2016. Prior to founding Dollar Shave Club, Mr. Dubin built a career spanning marketing, advertising, media and digital commerce, holding positions at NBC, MSNBC, Time Inc. and two advertising agencies. Mr. Dubin also currently serves on the Board of Stance Socks, a privately held company, as well as two non-profit organizations. In 2016, Mr. Dubin received Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in Greater Los Angeles award and, in 2015, he was named to Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list. He graduated from Emory University. About Jocelyn Mangan Jocelyn Mangan is the CEO and Founder of Him For Her, a social enterprise whose aim is to change for-profit boards of directors to include the world’s most talented women. Previously, she held various executive positions at Snagajob, including serving as Chief Operating Officer and prior to that, as Chief Product and Marketing Officer. Earlier, Ms. Mangan was Senior Vice President Product at OpenTable. Ms. Mangan currently serves on the Board of Directors of ChowNow, an online food ordering system and marketing platform. Ms. Mangan was honored as a member of the 2016 class of Henry Crown Fellows and the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute. She was named to Fast Company’s 2015 list of “100 Most Creative People in Business” and to Business Insider’s 2014 list of the “32 Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising." She graduated from Vanderbilt University.

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