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Executive Movements - August 2019

CKE Restaurants Appoints Andrew Robinson as Chief Human Resource Officer

August 05, 2019 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

FRANKLIN, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CKE Restaurant Holdings, Inc. (CKE), parent company of Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s®, today announced that Andrew Robinson will join the company as Chief Human Resource Officer. Robinson will report to Ned Lyerly, CEO.

Robinson joins CKE from Starr Restaurants, a James Beard award-winning collection of boutique restaurants. At Starr, Robinson was responsible for activating the company’s growth strategy by building organizational capabilities and infrastructure. Prior to Starr Restaurants, Robinson served as TGIF’s Chief People & Culture Officer.

“Andrew’s addition to the CKE team will help us further hone a focus on talent, culture and operations, and we are proud to have him join us,” said Ned Lyerly, Chief Executive Officer at CKE Restaurants. “We’re confident that Andrew’s diverse experience and passion for people will help us attract and maintain top-tier talent and will be a significant driver in CKE’s continued success.”

Robinson brings to CKE a wide range of experience, spanning restaurants, retail and fitness. In his new role, Robinson will oversee the human resources, assets protection and corporate facilities functions at the corporate office for CKE, bringing best in class practices to both field and corporate teams in support of CKE’s long-term growth strategy, and building a winning culture.

“CKE’s growth has inspired an even greater level of excellence with its people and culture, and it’s an honor to be a part of this global organization,” shared Andrew Robinson, CHRO at CKE. “Together with the leadership team, we are eager to activate a growth strategy that will build on the strength of our key asset, our people!”

Follow Hardee’s on social media for the latest product news and promotional offers.

About CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.

CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”) is a privately held company based in Franklin, Tennessee. CKE, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, owns 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 or its brand sites at and

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The Madera Group Hires Rudy Sugueti as Chief Operating Officer

AUGUST 1, 2019

During a time of swift expansion and impressive domestic growth, Los Angeles-based The Madera Group (parent company to fast-casual concept Tocaya Organica and Toca Madera) onboards seasoned hospitality professional Rudy Sugueti as chief operating officer. With decades of experience in both fast-casual concepts and full-service restaurant operations, Sugueti brings a wide range of expertise—from management and training to on-the-ground efficiencies and overall growth strategy—to the innovative hospitality group.

Through strong work ethic and a commitment to expertise in the field, Sugueti has paved a successful career in the restaurant industry, including managing kitchens, increasing restaurant revenue, building brand awareness, and leading corporations at an executive level. Notable career highlights include holding the title of senior vice president of global development & operations for California Pizza Kitchen—during which he managed more than 65 restaurants, signed contracts for 59 future locations in Asia, Australia, and the Middle East, and successfully opened 40 locations internationally. In his prior role as senior vice president of operations for CPK, he executed the business’s growth strategy and oversaw restaurant operations for over 200 locations throughout the U.S. During this tenure, he dramatically increased sales, improved management programs, and introduced a robust pre-opening training platform.

“I’m eager to be a part of a wellness-forward company like The Madera Group, who remains committed to creating an elevated, fresh-casual dining experience and healthier, organic food choices for guests—something that I’m also extremely passionate about. I look forward to continuing to build on the great success the company has achieved over the past three years and use my experience to guide The Madera Group during their rapid expansion phase into markets outside of California and Arizona, and potentially internationally. My hands will be in all departments at the corporate level, as well as in-store, connecting all the moving parts and continuing development of talent within the company.”

In his new role as COO, Sugueti will be guiding the growth of the business and creating excellence in the operations of the company at all levels, while providing each guest with the best experience possible across all markets and concepts. In his hands-on approach of spending time in each restaurant working with teams at the local level, Sugueti will focus on aspects critical to restaurant growth like building effective teams and in-depth employee training and development.

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Dine Brands Global, Inc. Appoints Susan M. Collyns to Board of Directors

August 01, 2019 04:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

GLENDALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dine Brands Global, Inc. (NYSE: DIN), the parent company of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar® and IHOP® restaurants, today announced the appointment of Susan M. Collyns to the Corporation’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. In connection with the appointment of Ms. Collyns, the Board of Directors also approved an increase in the size of the Board of Directors from nine to ten directors. Ms. Collyns is an independent director who will serve as a Class II director with a term expiring at the Corporation’s 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

“We are very excited to welcome Sue to our Board of Directors,” said Chairman of the Board of Directors, Richard J. Dahl. “Sue is a seasoned business leader with deep and pertinent restaurant and food service industry insight and expertise in accounting, finance and operations. She possesses the skills and qualifications we have identified as focal points for our Board of Directors, and I am confident she will be an invaluable asset to the Board of Directors and the Corporation as we execute on our strategic objectives.”

Ms. Collyns has served as the President and Chief Financial Officer of Beachbody, LLC, a health, fitness and nutrition company, since August 2014. Previously, Ms. Collyns served as the Chief Financial Officer of Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp., a financial data subscription business, from July 2012 to August 2014. From 2001 to 2011, Ms. Collyns served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of California Pizza Kitchen, Inc. Ms. Collyns has served on the board of directors of Waitr Holdings Inc. since May 2019 and is a member of its compensation committee and the chair of its audit committee. Ms. Collyns previously served on the board of directors and audit committee of Potbelly, Inc. from May 2018 to May 2019. Ms. Collyns also served on the board of directors of Zoe’s Kitchen, Inc. from February 2014 to November 2018, where she served as the chair of the audit committee and was a member of the nominating and governance committee.

About Dine Brands, Inc.

Based in Glendale, California, Dine Brands Global, Inc. (NYSE: DIN), through its subsidiaries, franchises restaurants under both the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP brands. With approximately 3,700 restaurants combined in 18 countries and approximately 370 franchisees, Dine Brands is one of the largest full-service restaurant companies in the world. For more information on Dine Brands, visit the Company’s website located at

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Fast Casual Veteran Kevin Miles Joins Mendocino Farms as Chief Executive Officer

July 31, 2019 04:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mendocino Farms, the popular upscale fast-casual sandwich and salad destination based in Southern California, announced today that Kevin Miles has joined the company as Chief Executive Officer. As a seasoned executive with more than 25 years of experience establishing, developing, and expanding industry-leading restaurant concepts, Miles is well suited to lead and scale the Mendocino Farms brand.

“We are thrilled that Kevin has joined the Mendocino Farms family,” says Mendocino Farms Co-Founder Mario Del Pero. “He is an exceptional leader with incredible experience growing promising regional brands into beloved national concepts while protecting and building upon their unique cultures.”

“Kevin shares the values that have brought us this far, including an unwavering commitment to our community, our team, and our vendor partners,” added Mendocino Farms Co-Founder Ellen Chen. “His creativity, vision, and alignment with our culture will be crucial as we bring the ‘Mendo’ experience to more communities.”

Miles most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of Zoë’s Kitchen, where he played an instrumental role in accelerating the restaurant’s growth while strengthening its outstanding cultural reputation, helping to expand its footprint from 21 to 268 locations and leading the company through a successful IPO during his 9-year tenure. Prior to Zoë’s, he held leadership roles with brands including Pollo Campero USA, Aramark, Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, and La Madeliene French Bakery and Café. In his new role, Miles will oversee all aspects of Mendocino Farms’ growth strategy and operations, including expansion outside the brand’s core California market.

“Kevin is an exceptional operator with a proven ability to build and scale dynamic restaurant concepts,” said Chris Kelly of Mendocino Farms investor TPG Growth. “His appointment marks a key milestone in Mendocino Farms’ journey, and we’re very pleased to welcome him aboard.”

“Mendocino Farms has earned its outstanding reputation and strong brand affinity by building authentic relationships with its local communities and investing in an innovative chef-driven menu, an elevated and engaging dining experience, and best-in-class hospitality driven by a robust training program,” said Miles. “I’m excited to work with the Mendocino Farms and TPG Growth teams to accelerate this strong momentum as we create new gathering places in neighborhoods across California, Texas, and beyond.”

Mendocino Farms now operates 27 restaurant locations across California and most recently opened their first of several locations planned for Houston, Texas. With a focus on mindful sourcing, each location partners with local farmers and food artisans to offer a dynamic menu of compelling sandwiches and salads that changes with the seasons. With industry-leading sales per square foot, a robust charitable giving program, and stellar ratings on guest review sites like Yelp, the brand aspires to create some of the best-loved eateries in the communities it serves.

About Mendocino Farms

Co-founded in Downtown Los Angeles by husband-and-wife team Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen in 2005, Mendocino Farms has since attracted the attention of millions of discerning foodies and investments from Whole Foods Market and TPG Growth. The thriving restaurant group offers a unique, chef-driven perspective on sandwiches and salads and emphasizes premium, locally-sourced ingredients served with white tablecloth hospitality. With a strong focus on three core values—creating neighborhood gathering places, “selling happy” to guests, and supporting deserving local farmers and food artisans—“Mendo” (as the brand’s loyal fans call it) is an original pioneer of the Premium Fast Casual movement, disrupting the casual dining segment by connecting guests to superior ingredients within a framework of elevated service and beautiful restaurant design (including family-friendly details like kids’ corners with chalkboard walls, pint-sized communal tables, cornhole courts, and foosball tables). For more information visit

About TPG Growth

TPG Growth is the middle market and growth equity investment platform of TPG, the global alternative asset firm. With approximately $14 billion of assets under management, TPG Growth targets investments in a broad range of industries and geographies. TPG Growth has the deep sector knowledge, operational resources, and global experience to drive value creation, and help companies reach their full potential. The firm is backed by the resources of TPG, which has more than $108 billion of assets under management. For more information, visit

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Domino's® Appoints Lisa Price Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer

Veteran of Starbucks and Nordstrom joins world's largest pizza company

Jul 31, 2019, 17:15 ET

ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Domino's Pizza, (NYSE: DPZ), the largest pizza company in the world based on global retail sales, today announced that Lisa V. Price will be joining the company as executive vice president, chief human resources officer, effective Aug. 26. Price will be a part of Domino's executive leadership team and will report directly to Chief Executive Officer Ritch Allison.

Price joins Domino's from Nordstrom, where she most recently served as senior vice president of human resources. From 2000-2015, Price had progressively more responsible roles in human resources at Starbucks Coffee Co., most recently as vice president of partner resources. With the exception of a year at Nordstrom in 2000, Price spent most of her career at Starbucks, joining the brand in 1994.

"Lisa brings extensive experience in both retail and restaurants to Domino's," said Allison. "She began her career in the stores at Starbucks and eventually worked her way up to be vice president of human resources. Her recent experience as senior vice president at Nordstrom – another incredible brand – makes her a terrific addition to the Domino's team."

Price graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles and holds a master's degree in organization design from American University in Washington, D.C.

About Domino's Pizza® Founded in 1960, Domino's Pizza is the largest pizza company in the world based on retail sales, with a significant business in both delivery and carryout pizza. It ranks among the world's top public restaurant brands with a global enterprise of more than 16,300 stores in over 85 markets. Domino's had global retail sales of over $13.5 billion in 2018, with nearly $6.6 billion in the U.S. and more than $6.9 billion internationally. In the second quarter of 2019, Domino's had global retail sales of over $3.2 billion, with over $1.6 billion in the U.S. and over $1.6 billion internationally. Its system is comprised of independent franchise owners who accounted for 98% of Domino's stores as of the second quarter of 2019. Emphasis on technology innovation helped Domino's achieve more than half of all global retail sales in 2018 from digital channels. In the U.S., Domino's generates over 65% of sales via digital channels and has developed several innovative ordering platforms, including Google Home, Facebook Messenger, Apple Watch, Amazon Echo and Twitter – as well as Domino's Hotspots®, an ordering platform featuring over 200,000 unique, non-traditional delivery locations. In late 2017, Domino's began an industry-first test of self-driving vehicle delivery, and in June 2019 announced a partnership with Nuro, furthering its exploration and testing of autonomous pizza delivery.

View source version at Domino's

Black Bear Diner Adds First Chief People Officer, Tammy Johns, to Executive Team

July 30, 2019

Johns will lead overall people strategy, including training and talent acquisition, in Black Bear Diner’s high-growth environment

Redding, CA  (  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 that Human Resources (HR) executive Tammy Johns has joined the company as its first Chief People Officer (CPO). Johns will report directly to Black Bear Diner President and Chief Financial Officer Anita Adams.

“We’re excited for the depth of experience and leadership that Tammy brings to Black Bear Diner as we execute against our accelerated growth plans,” said Adams. “I look forward to the impact she will have on our organization as we continue to build out a best in class leadership team.”

As part of an ongoing commitment to attracting the best talent possible, Johns will ensure Black Bear Diner’s people-first culture remains top of mind as the company continues a period of high growth and expansion to new markets.

“I am very excited to join the team of dedicated team members and franchisees at Black Bear Diner,” said Johns. “The people-first culture at Black Bear Diner is an environment that fits my philosophy of happy employees, happy guests! I am honored to work with this team of executives to foster unit growth while ensuring a best-in-class people culture. You really cannot have one without the other.”

Johns joins Black Bear Diner with more than 25 years of proven success in strategic HR management, all of which have been in the restaurant industry. She was previously Chief People Officer for quick-service burger chain Farmer Boys Foods, Inc. Prior to that, Johns led the people strategy for Lemonade Restaurant Group as the Vice President of Human Resources, as well as at two franchise holding companies, which owned a large number of Burger King restaurants and various TGI Fridays (SRAC Holdings I, Inc.) and Chili’s Grill & Bar locations (Snowstate Restaurant Corporation).

Black Bear Diner has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing franchises in the country, with 12 units already opened in 2019 and an additional eight units scheduled to open by year’s end. 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 131 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 NewsFranchise Times has called Black Bear Diner one of the “smartest-growing brands” in the country. For a full menu and additional information, please visit

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Punch Bowl Social Announces Leadership Transition Following Transaction

Jul 29, 2019, 15:16 ET

DENVER, July 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Punch Bowl Social announced today that former Chief Financial Officer, Robert Cornog, has transitioned from the company following its transaction with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. Cornog, who joined Punch Bowl Social in 2013, stepped aside as CFO in January of 2019 and has been acting in an advisory capacity since that time.

"We're grateful for the important role that Rob played at Punch Bowl Social. We wish him the best in his future endeavors," said Punch Bowl Social founder and CEO, Robert Thompson.

About Punch Bowl Social Punch Bowl Social is the first experiential food and beverage brand to bring a made-from-scratch menu and craft beverages together with social gaming in one design-forward environment. Punch Bowl Social was named as one of Fast Company's 2019 Top 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World, a Nation's Restaurant News Hot Concept in 2018, among more than a dozen other national and regional awards. Punch Bowl Social serves weekend brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night snacks alongside a variety of creative punches, local microbrews and craft non-alcoholic beverage. For more information, please visit

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Kurt Schnaubelt joins the diversified restaurant company from a consulting firm.By Peter Romeo on Jul. 25, 2019

The parent company of O’Charley’s, Ninety Nine, Village Inn and Bakers Square has hired 27-year restaurant veteran Kurt Schnaubelt as its chief financial officer.Schnaubelt joins American Blue Ribbon Holdings from AlixPartners, an international consulting company, where he co-led the restaurant, hospitality and leisure practice.Earlier, Schnaubelt held several positions at Avado Brands, the parent of Don Pablo’s and Hops, and its successor company, Rita Restaurant Corp. He has also served as CFO of Bertucci’s Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta.American Blue Ribbon operates more than 500 restaurants under its four full-service brands.“I am confident that Kurt’s experience, insights and  leadership will deliver extraordinary contributions across the organization,” said Craig Barber, CEO of American Blue Ribbon.

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Yum! Brands Appoints Taco Bell Division and Pizza Hut Division Chief Executive Officers to Drive Global Brand Strategies and Growth

Company Names Retail Innovator Mark King as Taco Bell Division CEO; Artie Starrs Promoted to Pizza Hut Division CEO

July 25, 2019 04:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) today announced that it has appointed Taco Bell Division and Pizza Hut Division Chief Executive Officers who each will assume global responsibility for driving their respective brand’s growth strategies, franchise operations and performance. With today’s announcement, each of the Company’s three global brand divisions will be led by a Chief Executive Officer.

Mark King, 60, former President of adidas Group North America, will join the Company as Taco Bell Division Chief Executive Officer, reporting to David Gibbs, President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Yum! Brands. King brings to Taco Bell and Yum! Brands extensive retail experience and an excellent track record driving growth, innovation, brand relevance and culture. In addition, Artie Starrs, 42, President of Pizza Hut U.S., is being promoted to Pizza Hut Division Chief Executive Officer. Starrs, as well as current KFC Division Chief Executive Officer Tony Lowings, will continue to report to Gibbs. Both appointments are effective August 5, 2019.

“We believe this global brand division leadership structure at Taco Bell and Pizza Hut will enable the U.S. and international teams to further implement innovative best practices worldwide, strengthen digital and technology capabilities and accelerate growth for franchisees and shareholders,” said Greg Creed, Chief Executive Officer, Yum! Brands. “We’re investing in world-class executives like Mark and fortunate to promote incredible talent throughout our company like Artie. Mark is an accomplished retail innovator, and Artie is an excellent growth strategist – both are strong culture leaders who will continue to elevate Taco Bell and Pizza Hut into relevant, easy and distinctive global brands.”

“Mark King is the ideal executive to elevate Taco Bell to the next level of global growth,” said Gibbs. “His unique talent rewriting the rules for brands to win in fiercely competitive markets will be central to Taco Bell’s journey to become a $15 billion brand that transcends the quick-service restaurant and retail categories. We’re privileged to be in a position to add Mark’s high caliber talent to the strong and accomplished Taco Bell leadership team we have in place. We’re also very proud that Julie Felss Masino and Liz Williams have delivered fantastic results to ensure Taco Bell remains an innovative and growing Category of One brand in the U.S. and internationally.”

Julie Felss Masino, Taco Bell North America President, and Liz Williams, Taco Bell International President, will report to King. Under their leadership, Taco Bell continued its success outpacing the industry and delivering its seventh consecutive year of positive same-store sales growth in 2018.

King joins Taco Bell after successfully leading global sporting goods businesses with adidas. Most recently, he served as President, adidas Group North America, before he decided to step down in 2018 and conclude an exceptional career with adidas as Executive Emeritus. Under King’s leadership the previous four years, adidas became the fastest-growing sports brand in North America, increasing sales by 35 percent in 2017, doubling its market share and regaining the No. 2 position in the U.S. From 2003 to 2014, King was CEO of TaylorMade-adidas Golf, a division that became the leading and most profitable golf company in the world.

“The courage, creativity, culture and potential of Taco Bell make it the only brand I would become part of at this point in my career,” said King. “I’m truly excited and honored to join Yum! Brands and to work with Julie, Liz and the talented team of employees and franchisees who are already making Taco Bell a powerhouse global brand with extraordinary possibilities for the future.”

Gibbs continued, “Artie is a talented growth leader who has made bold moves to galvanize Pizza Hut U.S. franchisees around the Transformation Agreement, strengthen the brand’s digital and e-commerce roadmap, improve operations and the customer experience and articulate a clear path forward to drive Pizza Hut’s growth over the long term. I’m confident Artie will help grow and continue to strengthen Pizza Hut’s competitive position with our franchisees globally, working with a strong leader in Vipul Chawla and the entire International team.”

Under Starrs’ leadership, Pizza Hut U.S. has maniacally focused on the customer experience through continuous improvements in food quality, delivery service and a broad suite of digital initiatives. Partnering with franchisees, the brand continues to execute Hot, Fast and Reliable initiatives, improving average delivery time by three minutes and increasing customer satisfaction scores, and earning a top spot amongst national pizza chains in the 2018 American Customer Satisfaction Index. Pizza Hut U.S. has introduced a range of innovative online ordering tools and services to improve the customer experience, such as a delivery tracker with text alerts, easy order options through voice-enabled digital assistants and social, and Hut Rewards, the only national pizza loyalty program that rewards members for every dollar spent on food online. At the end of 2018, Starrs led the Company’s acquisition of QuikOrder, the online ordering engine for the Pizza Hut U.S. business, to improve the brand’s ability to deliver an easy and personalized online ordering experience and accelerate digital innovation across its U.S. restaurants. In addition, Pizza Hut became the official sponsor of the NFL in 2018, re-launched its iconic Original Pan Pizza in 2019, and continues to increase its emphasis on disruptive innovation and value. Since Starrs joined Pizza Hut U.S. in 2013, he has held various leadership positions at the brand including General Manager and Chief Financial Officer.

“I’m incredibly excited and privileged to continue working with Vipul, our Pizza Hut U.S. leadership team and franchisees. I am looking forward to working more closely with our global brand leaders and franchisees to drive breakthrough innovation and customer experiences,” said Starrs. Starrs will retain direct leadership of Pizza Hut in the U.S. as part of his global responsibilities as Pizza Hut Division Chief Executive Officer. Vipul Chawla, President of Pizza Hut International, will report to Starrs.

About Taco Bell

Taco Bell, a division of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), is the world's leading Mexican-inspired quick-service restaurant brand. Taco Bell serves made-to-order and customizable tacos and burritos and other specialties with bold flavors, quality ingredients, breakthrough value, and best-in-class customer service to over 40 million customers weekly across the globe. Globally, Taco Bell and its franchisees operate more than 7,100 restaurants, including nearly 500 restaurants across nearly 30 countries outside of the U.S. The brand plans to become a $15 billion company in global system sales with 9,000 restaurants globally.

About Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut, a division of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), has more restaurant locations in the world than any other pizza company. Founded in 1958 in Wichita, Kan., Pizza Hut operates more than 18,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries.

About Yum! Brands

Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 48,000 restaurants in more than 145 countries and territories primarily operating the company’s restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food. Worldwide, the Yum! Brands system opens over eight new restaurants per day on average, making it a leader in global retail development. In 2018, Yum! Brands was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index and ranked among the top 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. In 2019, Yum! Brands was named to the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the second consecutive year.

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Dunkin' Brands Announces Appointment Of Stephanie Lilak As Chief Human Resources Officer

Jul 22, 2019, 11:17 ET

CANTON, Mass., July 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN), the parent company of Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins, today announced the appointment of Stephanie Lilak as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. She will join the Dunkin' Brands Executive Leadership Team and report directly to Dunkin' Brands' Chief Executive Officer Dave Hoffmann.

Lilak comes to Dunkin' Brands from General Mills where she spent 23 years in executive-level human resource positions as well as serving as the operations leader for the company's largest U.S. manufacturing plant. In her new role at Dunkin' Brands, she will be responsible for global employee recruitment, training, leadership development, succession planning, compensation, benefits, and organizational effectiveness. She will also serve as co-chair of the Dunkin' People Systems Subcommittee where she will work with franchisees to create tools and programs designed to recruit, train, and develop restaurant managers and crewmembers.

"Stephanie is a transformational leader with a successful track record of helping global businesses implement human capital initiatives that drive growth. She's excelled at developing talent and has dedicated her career to building strong, inclusive corporate cultures," said Dave Hoffmann, Dunkin' Brands CEO and Dunkin' U.S. President. "With her leadership skills, business acumen, and passion for organizational development, Stephanie is eminently qualified to help us drive Dunkin' Brands' global growth. We are delighted to welcome her to our team."

Lilak's most recent position at General Mills was Vice President, Human Resources, North America Retail where she led strategic human resources for the $10 billion retail segment with 10,000 employees across multiple functions and business categories. She held previous roles with the company as the Vice President of Human Resources for the U.S. foodservice and convenience stores segments, and she provided human resources leadership for the International and Manufacturing Divisions. Lilak also assumed a cross-functional line leadership role of General Mills' largest manufacturing plant in the U.S. Prior to General Mills, Lilak worked in human resources for Cooper Industries.

"I am delighted to be joining Dunkin' Brands, a company with two of the world's most-loved brands and a premier franchising organization," said Lilak. "I look forward to working with the company's leadership and our franchisee community to develop and implement strategies designed to attract and retain top-tier talent for both the corporate entity as well as for Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins restaurants around the world."

Lilak earned a B.S. in Psychology and an M.S. in Industrial Relations from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has also been active in numerous philanthropic causes supporting equitable access to higher education, most recently serving as a Board Member of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Greater Twin Cities United Way.

About Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc.

With more than 20,900 points of distribution in more than 60 countries worldwide, Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) is one of the world's leading franchisors of quick service restaurants (QSR) serving hot and cold coffee and baked goods, as well as hard-serve ice cream. At the end of the first quarter 2019, Dunkin' Brands' 100 percent franchised business model included 12,900 Dunkin' restaurants and more than 8,000 Baskin-Robbins restaurants. Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. is headquartered in Canton, Mass.

View source version at Dunkin' Brands

Clay Sanger Named CEO of Superfood Holdings™

West Coast's Leading Organic, Plant-based, Clean Food Concept Makes Strategic Hire to Support Retail Expansion Plans

Jul 18, 2019, 08:38 ET

IRVINE, Calif., July 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The combined company of Beaming Wellness and Project Juice, now operating under the umbrella of Superfood Holdings, LLC is pleased to announce the hiring of Clay Sanger as CEO. The announcement comes only three weeks after the initial announcement of the merger between Beaming and Project Juice, which positioned the newly formed Superfood Holdings as the West Coast's leading organic, plant-based clean food QSR concept.

As CEO, Sanger will be overseeing the development and execution of a major retail expansion plan for the company. In addition, he will directly oversee all sales channels, finance, marketing and operations.  Two new clean food kitchens are slated to open by the end of 2019 as the beginning stages of a strategic national growth plan.

"Bringing on talent like Clay in key leadership roles is an important tenet of our strategy in building the leading QSR concept in the organic, plant-based, clean food space," said Equity38 Co-Managing Partner Brent Leffel.  "Clay brings a proven track record of success and his experience and thought leadership will be invaluable as Superfood Holdings grows its footprint in existing markets and expands to new markets."

Sanger's depth of experience, with over 30 years in restaurant operations, will also help to maximize operational efficiencies for the company. Sanger has held COO positions at Pieology and Jinya and has also previously held positions as VP of Operations at Panera, Paradise Bakery and Susie Cakes.  Notably, Sanger was a member of the leadership team that successfully completed a merger between Panera and Paradise Bakery and has deep experience with company owned stores and franchising in multiple markets. Sanger will offer his earned expertise to ensure the opportunity from the merger between Beaming and Project Juice is fully actualized.

"Hiring Clay as our CEO is an important strategic move that will support our growth goals," said Superfood Holdings, CFO Devon Briger. "The opportunity in front of us is tremendous and tapping into Clay's expertise, will allow us to fast-track our path to even greater success."

"I am incredibly honored and excited to join Superfood Holdings, LLC at such a pivotal time, and to be part of a team that is deeply committed to developing a best in class health and wellness platform." said Sanger. "Beaming and Project Juice are clear leaders when it comes to innovating within the plant-based, clean food space.  The brands are truly better together and I'm excited to work with the team in building upon its commitment to innovation and quality as we navigate our future growth."

About Equity38 Equity 38 LLC is a boutique principal investment firm focused on lower middle market opportunities in the consumer-facing Health/Wellness, Active Lifestyle, and Outdoor sector. The firm's Managing Partners have complementary experience as principal investors, entrepreneurs, board members and c-level industry executives.  The firm was founded in 2018 by Brent Leffel and David Cox with offices in Newport Beach, CA and Atlanta, GA.  Equity38 LLC is currently investing out of its first committed fund.  For more information, please visit

About Superfood Holdings Superfood Holding, LLC is the umbrella company for Project Juice LLC and Beaming Wellness LLC.  The company is a leader in the plant-based, clean food restaurant space and offers an unmatched commitment to quality, organic ingredients and ongoing product innovation.  Superfood Holdings, LLC operates 16 'clean food kitchens' throughoutCalifornia and also offers nationwide delivery through the company's owned websites.  

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Freshii Inc. Appoints Daniel Haroun as Its Chief Financial Officer

July 16, 2019 08:00 ET

TORONTO, July 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Freshii Inc. ("Freshii" or the "Company") (TSX: FRII) today announced the appointment of Daniel Haroun as its new Chief Financial Officer, effective August 26, 2019. Dan joins Freshii’s executive leadership team, and will be responsible for leading financial operations across the Company, as well as providing overall strategic direction along with the Company’s CEO, Matthew Corrin.

Dan is a CPA and joins Freshii with over a decade of senior management experience between Restaurant Brands International (which owns and operates the Tim Hortons, Burger King and Popeye’s brands) and, most recently, Walmart Canada.  At Walmart Canada, Dan served as Vice-President Finance and led the Canadian finance function, including in respect of Corporate Finance, Financial Planning & Analysis, Tax, Strategic Planning, Risk Management, Real Estate, Investment Planning, Business Intelligence and Financial Systems matters.  While at RBI, Dan held progressively more senior leadership roles, providing financial direction to the Company’s CPG, International, Manufacturing and Distribution divisions.

“We are excited to welcome Dan to the senior management team,” said Matthew Corrin, Freshii’s Founder and CEO.  “Dan has a strong strategic and operational background as a financial leader, with considerable experience in the franchised restaurant and retail spaces, which will be beneficial to both our traditional restaurant and CPG business lines.”

Dan brings a results-oriented approach to leadership, with a clear track record of driving positive impact on business performance in the franchise restaurant, consumer packaged goods and retail environments. He has consistently made developing talent a priority, building high performing finance teams and serving as a mentor for Walmart Canada’s Women in Retail Program.

"The board is pleased to welcome such a strong financial leader to Freshii at this important time for the Company," said Jeff Burchell, Freshii's lead independent director and audit committee chair. "Dan comes to Freshii with a track record of operational and strategic excellence during his time at Walmart and RBI. That experience will no doubt be of great benefit to Freshii as we continue to plot and execute the next phases of our growth."

Upon his appointment, Mr Haroun said, “Freshii is an incredible, growing brand in the highly desirable healthy eating sector. I look forward to joining the senior management team and the board of directors as we drive Freshii forward through the next phase of the company’s exciting growth.”

Dan will be based in Freshii’s head office in Toronto.

About Freshii

Eat. Energize. That’s the Freshii mantra. Freshii is a health and wellness brand on a mission to help citizens of the world live better by making healthy eating convenient and affordable. With a diverse and completely customizable menu of breakfast, soups, salads, wraps, bowls, burritos, frozen yogurt, juices, and smoothies served in an eco-friendly environment, Freshii caters to every taste and dietary preference.

Freshii was founded in 2005 and spans 446 stores across 16 countries. Now, guests can energize with Freshii’s menu anywhere from cosmopolitan cities and fitness clubs to sports arenas and airplanes.

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Luby's Hires Industry Veterans to Lead Marketing and IT Departments

Jul 15, 2019, 08:35 ET

HOUSTON, July 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Luby's, Inc. (NYSE: LUB) announced today the hiring of two industry veteran leaders to fill management positions. David Greenberg named Vice President of Marketing and John Holzem named Vice President of Information Technology (IT).

Chris Pappas, President and CEO, commented, "We are excited to welcome David and John to the Luby's management team - two highly qualified and extremely talented industry veterans to lead our marketing and IT departments, respectively.  Both are seasoned leaders in their areas of expertise and are uniquely qualified. Not only do they strengthen our leadership bench, they undoubtedly will add value to the iconic Luby's and Fuddruckers brands. Attracting such talent to our management team is a boost of confidence for both our brands and operational initiatives."

David Greenberg, vice president of marking brings more than 30 years of restaurant and consumer products marketing, produce innovation and brand management experience to Luby's. Greenberg has a demonstrated record of successful restaurant marketing campaigns across numerous national brands throughout the fast food and casual dining categories. Over the span of his impressive marketing career he has worked with notable national brands such as Bob Evans Restaurants, Jack in the Box, Wendy's, TGI Friday's and Burger King, among others. Greenberg is a graduate of Northwestern University and has an MBA from J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

John Holzem is an experienced IT foodservice executive that specializes in leveraging technology investments and driving operational efficiencies with process improvements.  Holzem has more than 30 years of experience at Sysco Corporation, where he was most recently Vice President of Business Technology.  While at Sysco, Holzem centralized IT data centers into a hosted strategy model and served on several of Sysco's executive committees, including the Enterprise Risk Management Committee and Corporate Tactical Support Team, which focused on emergency response, business continuity and disaster recovery.

About Luby's

Luby's, Inc. (NYSE: LUB) operates 130 restaurants nationally as of June 5, 2019: 80 Luby's Cafeterias, 49 Fuddruckers, one Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurants. Luby's is the franchisor for 107 Fuddruckers franchise locations across the United States (including Puerto Rico), Canada, Mexico, Colombia, and Panama. Luby's Culinary Contract Services provides food service management to 32 sites consisting of healthcare, corporate dining locations, sports stadiums, and sales through retail grocery stores.

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Checkers & Rally’s Announces Hiring of Minh Le as Chief Information Officer

July 15, 2019

Industry and IT veteran to lead technology development for the Tampa-based drive-thru burger franchise.

Tampa, FL  (  Checkers & Rally’s announced today the appointment of former Corner Bakery and Il Fornaio executive Minh Le as Chief Information Officer effective July 15, 2019.

“Minh has been building IT functions from scratch and developing high-performing teams that deliver successful technology results for restaurant chains for his entire career,” said Rick Silva, CEO of Checkers & Rally’s. “Minh’s impressive experience and proven track record include exciting, cutting-edge work in digital and data analytics. We look forward to seeing the impact of Minh’s experience at Checkers & Rally’s.”

Le started his career as a software developer and senior programmer/analyst. After joining Darden Restaurants, he progressed through positions leading cross-functional teams to design, develop and implement enterprise class applications including a custom POS system and intranet portal. Le also worked at Romano’s Macaroni Grill after its spinoff from Brinker International, transitioning to Ignite Restaurant Group before returning to Romano’s to lead the IT function.

“Over the past few years, Checkers & Rally’s has been steadily improving its technology offerings to benefit its customers, franchisees and team members,” said Le. “I am eager to apply my nearly 25 years of experience helping restaurant chains improve their technology functions to Checkers & Rally’s.”

Le graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. He currently resides in Dallas, Texas with his wife, Jennifer, and two children, Hanna (13) and Justin (11).

About Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants, Inc.

Based in Tampa, Fla., Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants, Inc., an iconic and innovative drive-thru restaurant chain known for its “Crazy Good Food,” exceptional value, and people-first attitude, operates and franchises both Checkers® and Rally’s® restaurants. With nearly 900 restaurants and room to grow, Checkers & Rally’s is a proven brand with flexible building formats that is aggressively expanding across the country. Checkers & Rally’s is dedicated to being a place where franchisees and employees who work hard can create opportunity for themselves, their families, and their communities. In recent years, the brand has been awarded several of the industry’s most prestigious awards including:  Ranking #140 on Entrepreneur’s 2018 Franchise 500, Top Food and Beverage Franchise by Franchise Business Review, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Best Franchise Deals, “Best Drive-Thru in America” by QSR Magazine, the “Hot! Again” award from Nation’s Restaurant News, and “#1 Most Craveable Fries” by Restaurant Business. For more information about franchise opportunities with Checkers & Rally’s, please visit

View source version at Checkers & Rally's

Bonchon Appoints Flynn Dekker as Chief Executive Officer

Bonchon, the world-famous restaurant chain known for its signature Korean double-fried chicken, has appointed Flynn Dekker as Chief Executive Officer giving him the day-to-day leadership of the company.

Dekker’s appointment was announced today by Bonchon’s board of directors and VIG Partners, who acquired a majority ownership of Bonchon in December of 2018, overseen by BM Park, a Managing Partner at the firm and Chairman of Bonchon’s board of directors. VIG Partners, founded in 2005, has expertise in the Korean mid-market buyout space and has deployed around US$2.5 billion of capital across 19 different portfolios across a diverse range of industries including consumer, retail, financial services, online commerce, lifestyle, and food and beverage.

Dekker, a multi-unit restaurant and retail veteran, will succeed Bonchon founder Jinduk Seo, who remains a shareholder in the company and will continue as a member of the company’s board.

“The board and I are confident that Flynn is the right person to build on the growth and momentum Bonchon has built in the United States and worldwide,” said BM Park. “He is a seasoned leader with significant experience working with multi-unit restaurant concepts on operational efficiencies, revenue generation and delivering value to franchisees and equity holders. We are thrilled to have him as our new CEO.”

Dekker sees opportunities to accelerate Bonchon’s growth through a series of enhancements including the implementation of strategic initiatives in supply chain, technology, operations and marketing, while expanding the restaurant group’s domestic and international footprint. Bonchon currently has 92 locations in the U.S. and 345 worldwide. The brand is scheduled to grow by over 15 new locations in the U.S. in the next year signifying growth of over 17%, making it one of the fastest growing restaurant chains in the U.S.

“My passion for Bonchon began many years ago when I discovered the brand on a trip to New York City. Bonchon’s commitment to serving a unique, quality product combined with its loyal, worldwide fanbase and talented team are just some of the reasons I am excited to be leading the brand,” says Dekker. “There is a lot of white space for Bonchon to grow as we introduce our signature fried chicken to more franchisees and consumers in markets across the world. Our goal is to have one of the best investment ratios in the business driven by our continued commitment to our passionate base of fans.”

Dekker, 49, comes to Bonchon with a long tenure in senior leadership roles including Chief Marketing Officer at Wingstop (NASDAQ:WING) where he led the company’s strategic advertising, branding, media and marketing efforts. As CMO, Dekker oversaw consecutive years of industry-leading same store sales comps, transitioned the company from regional to national advertising and was a key member of the team that took Wingstop public in 2014. Dekker began his career in operations with Blockbuster and Pizza Hut. Since that time, he has held senior marketing roles at EMI Music, FedEx Office, Fogo de Chão, Metromedia Restaurant Group and Rave Restaurant Group. Dekker also acquired extensive hands-on experience as the owner and operator of his own upscale restaurant in Dallas, TX.

Bonchon debuted in the U.S. in 2006 and quickly became one of the fastest growing restaurant chains around the world based on its proprietary sauces (all custom made at Bonchon’s Global Kitchen in Busan, South Korea), signature crunchy-double fried chicken recipe and other authentic menu offerings. Bonchon is headquartered in New York City, with its international headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.

ABOUT BONCHON: Founded in South Korea in 2002 and established in the United States in 2006, Bonchon, Korean for ‘my hometown,’ currently has 92 US restaurants in operation with franchise outposts in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Bonchon has a total of 345 locations worldwide including Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Kuwait, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

Bonchon was recognized by Food & Wine Magazine in 2017 as “The Best Chicken Wings in the U.S.” The traditional sit-down restaurant provides a friendly, fine casual experience great for dining with family and friends. For the ultimate convenience, Bonchon fried chicken is just as enjoyable at home, and most restaurants also offer take-out and delivery services. For menus, locations, or franchise opportunities go to Follow @bonchonchicken on Instagram and @bonchon on Twitter.

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sbe, Global Leader in Lifestyle Hospitality, Appoints Two Additional Industry Veterans to Executive Team

Beverly Ramsook and Rohit Anand Join sbe As Part of Continued Growth

Jul 09, 2019, 09:00 ET

NEW YORK, July 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- sbe - the leading international lifestyle hospitality group that develops, manages and operates award-winning venues, announces the expansion of its executive team with the placement of two seasoned industry veterans in key New York City-based leadership roles. With significant growth planned over the next years, sbe is proud to welcome Beverly Ramsook as Vice President of Revenue Management and Rohit Anand as Vice President of Global Brand Partnerships.

Sam Nazarian, Founder & CEO of sbe states: "I am thrilled to see the sbe management team growing and look forward to working with Beverly and Rohit as we continue our strong momentum on all fronts. The addition of these two highly qualified executives will help reinforce our operational infrastructure, as well as supercharge our already impressive growth in global partnerships. Both these roles are also critical to supporting the integration currently underway with our partner, Accor."

Beverly Ramsook, Vice President of Revenue Management, sbe: "I am excited to be joining the sbe Tribe and its CEO and Founder, Sam Nazarian. With its authentic service, innovative cuisine, design, and entertainment, sbe is at the forefront of all things lifestyle. I feel very fortunate to now be part of the sbe family and look forward to contributing to the continued success of the company."

Rohit Anand, Vice President of Global Brand Partnerships, sbe: "I am elated to join sbe and manage the growing collection's global brand partnership program. sbe is a true pioneer in the lifestyle hospitality space and I am proud to join such a talented team led by visionary Sam Nazarian who has created some of the most forward thinking and iconic hotels, restaurants, and lounges across the world."

In her new role, Ramsook brings extensive experience in Revenue Management, Distribution, eCommerce, and Call Center Operations. She previously served as Vice President of Revenue Management at Performance Hospitality Group, Denihan Hospitality Group, and as NYC Director of Revenue for AccorHotels. She has held committee and board positions with Leading Hotels of the World, Travelocity Advisory Board, Omni Hotels & Resorts Travel Industry Advisory Board, and HSMAI CRO Roundtable. She is a frequent speaker at industry events and was featured in the book, Profiles in Performance: Business Intelligence Journeys and the Roadmap for Change by Howard Dresner.

Anand joins the company with extensive experience in Brand Partnerships. He spent close to a decade at Dream Hotel Group, where he was most recently the Vice President of Brand Activation and Partnerships for the portfolio. During his tenure, he forged invaluable relationships and partnerships within the lifestyle brand space in music, food and beverage, media, art, technology and fashion, including The Tao Group, Beats by Dre, The Lincoln Motor Company, Victoria's Secret, Republic Records, Warner Music Group, The Governors Ball and Morrison Hotel Gallery. In his role at sbe, Rohit will work directly with Chief Brand Officer, Michele Caniato, to continue to elevate the company's prestigious lifestyle partnership portfolio with a strong focus on Fortune 500 companies.  Recent major global partnership wins for sbe include forging relationships with Sprint Telecommunications, The Lincoln Motor Company, Chase Sapphire, and LG to mention a few.

This news comes on the heels of sbe's recent announcement to open 100 hotels and 300 culinary, entertainment and nightlife establishments by the year 2022. This unprecedented growth trajectory will be driven by sbe's extensive brand portfolio that includes SLS, Delano, Mondrian, The House of Originals, Hyde, Katsuya by Chef Katsuya Uechi, Umami Burger, Cleo, Fi'lia, Carna by Dario Cecchini, Leynia and Diez y Seis by Chef José Icardi, HYDE Lounge, S Bar, Doheny Room, Nightingale, Skybar, Bond, and Privilege.

About sbe Established in 2002 by Founder and CEO Sam Nazarian, sbe is a privately-held, leading lifestyle hospitality company that develops, manages and operates award-winning hotels, residences, restaurants and nightclubs. Through exclusive partnerships with cultural visionaries, sbe is devoted to creating extraordinary experiences throughout its proprietary brands with a commitment to authenticity, sophistication, mastery and innovation. Following the acquisition of Morgans Hotel Group, the pioneer of boutique lifestyle hotels, in partnership with Accor, sbe has an unparalleled global portfolio which will see 29 hotels and over 180 global world-renowned culinary, nightlife and entertainment venues by the end of 2019. The company is uniquely positioned to offer a complete lifestyle experience - from nightlife, food & beverage and entertainment to hotels and residences, and through its innovative customer loyalty and rewards program, The Code, as well as its award-winning international real estate development subsidiary, Dakota Development - all of which solidify sbe as the preeminent leader across hospitality. The company's established and upcoming hotel brands include SLS Hotel & Residences, Delano, Mondrian, The Redbury, HYDE Hotel & Residences, and The House of Originals. In addition, sbe has the following internationally acclaimed restaurants and lounges under subsidiary Disruptive Restaurant Group: Katsuya by Chef Katsuya Uechi, Umami Burger, Cleo, Fi'lia, Carna by Dario Cecchini, Leynia and Diez y Seis by Chef José Icardi, HYDE Lounge, S Bar, Doheny Room, Nightingale, Skybar, Bond, and Privilege. To learn more, visit

View source version at sbe

Papa John’s Appoints Industry Veteran Jim Norberg as SVP and Chief of Restaurant Operations

July 08, 2019 08:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Papa John's International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) today announced the appointment of Jim Norberg as its Chief Restaurant Operations Officer. Mr. Norberg will oversee the operations of Papa John’s corporate and franchise restaurants in North America.

Norberg, a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry veteran, spent more than 30 years of his career at McDonald’s. His most recent role was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, where he managed operations for 14,000 U.S. restaurants. During his time at McDonald’s, Norberg’s leadership was instrumental in unifying company and franchise operations around the brand’s messaging and leading a system-wide review to simplify store operations and menus. His collaboration with the McDonald’s franchisee community also led to the modernization of the customer experience in the chain’s restaurant operations. After his long tenure at McDonald’s, Norberg has served as an independent strategic advisor to organizations in the restaurant, hospitality, entertainment and consumer goods industry.

“Jim has an impressive growth track record, as well as deep-rooted QSR industry knowledge and expertise, making him a welcome addition to our talented leadership team,” said Steve Ritchie, President and CEO of Papa John’s International. “Jim is a seasoned expert whose depth and understanding of restaurant operations and the guest experience will help propel our brand forward and position us for continued success.”

As Chief Restaurant Operations Officer, Norberg will lead the company’s operations excellence team to drive continuous efficiency improvements and deliver sustainable year-over-year increases in sales, customer satisfaction and profit margins for the brand across both its corporate and franchise restaurants.

“I am thrilled to be joining such a strong and talented leadership team and the Papa John’s family,” said Mr. Norberg. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I look forward to helping move the brand forward and contribute to the success of our differentiated ‘BETTER INGREDIENTS. BETTER PIZZA.’ brand value proposition.”

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 2019, consumers rated Papa John’s No. 1 in product and service quality among national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). For 18 of the past 20 years, consumers have rated Papa John's No. 1 in customer satisfaction among national pizza chains in the ACSI. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John’s at

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Yvonne Wolf Joins National Restaurant Association As Executive Vice President, Human Resources

July, 2 2019

The National Restaurant Association announced yesterday the addition of Yvonne Wolf as Executive Vice President of Human Resources. Wolf is an accomplished human resources leader with more than 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors.  She will lead the Human Resources team and develop strategies to drive greater operational and organizational effectiveness.

“Yvonne is a compassionate leader with a proven record of developing talent, enhancing culture, and promoting employee engagement,” said Dawn Sweeney, President & CEO.  “Her enthusiasm coupled with her industry experience uniquely qualifies her for this role, and we are very much looking forward to working with her.”

“This position combines my passion for building teams with my love of the foodservice industry,” said Wolf.  “I want to continue developing my industry knowledge so I can partner with members of the Association and Foundation to expand our culture of service.”

Most recently, Yvonne held leadership roles with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), where she launched a new business and enabled cultural transformation.  She designed organizational structures and human resources practices to attract, retain, and develop talent in the highly competitive healthcare field.

Yvonne joined GSK through the Novartis Vaccines acquisition as Global Head of HR for Manufacturing and Quality, where she led an HR team across six countries.  At Novartis, she also served as Global Head of Leadership Development and Diversity & Inclusion.

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COO Pano Christou to take the top spot in September.

By Jonathan Maze on Jul. 01, 2019

Clive Schlee will retire after 16 years as CEO of the natural foods chain Pret A Manager in September when he will cede the title to Chief Operating Officer Pano Christou, the company announced on Monday.Schlee will keep a role in the business as Pret’s nonexecutive director, the company said. The transition was announced as the company prepares to take over the United Kingdom vegetarian chain Eat.“There is never an easy time to stop being CEO of a wonderful company, but with the completion of our Eat deal tomorrow and the rollout of the Pret Allergy Plan, now is a good time for a new CEO to take Pret on the next stage of its journey,” Schlee said in a statement. He said Christou “knows our shops through and through and will keep Pret true to the values that have underpinned its success.”Christou has been with Pret for 19 years, having started as an assistant manager before becoming managing director of Pret U.K. in 2014, and then COO earlier this year. “Pret has big plans for the next few years,” Christou said in a statement, “integrating Eat, developing Veggie Pret, delivering our digital transformation and leading the way in supporting customers with allergies.”The leadership change comes more than a year after the investment firm JAB Holding acquired Pret.Schlee was named CEO of the company in 2003 and guided the chain’s growth in Europe and into the U.S. The chain now operates 550 locations worldwide, including more than 90 in the U.S. Global sales topped $1 billion in 2018, according to data from Restaurant Business sister company Technomic.“Since 2003, Clive has become the beating heart of Pret, transforming it into a much-loved, leading international brand,” Olivier Goudet, Pret’s chairman, said in a statement. He noted that Schlee “will continue to play a key role in stewarding Pret’s people, culture and passion” as its nonexecutive director.

View source version at Pret a Manger


By Peter Romeo on Jun. 27, 2019

Casual-dining veteran Marc Buehler has left his job as CEO of Dick’s Last Resort to become president of the brewery and specialty restaurant group of CraftWorks Holdings, with responsibility for Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant and Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, among other beer-focused concepts.His other charges include Chophouse, A1A Ale Works, Big River Grill, Ragtime Tavern Seafood & Grill and Seven Bridges Grille & Brewery.He reports to CraftWorks CEO Hazem Ouf, along with Scott Moore, president of CraftWorks' Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom division, and Tim Kaliher, president of its Logan's Roadhouse chain.Buehler has overseen a number of venerable full-service chains that were striving for a rejuvenation, including Lone Star Steakhouse, O’Charley’s, Champps, Kona Grill and Fox & Hound Restaurant Group. He was CEO of 14-unit Dick’s Last Resort for a little over two years, according to Buehler’s LinkedIn page.“Marc’s impressive background of driving organizational change and leading restaurant brands through various growth stages makes him exactly the right leader to help scale and fulfill our mission to deliver a perfectly crafted experience for our guests each and every visit,” said Hazem Ouf, the CEO of CraftWorks.O’Charley’s was also a previous charge of Ouf, the former CEO of American Blue Ribbon Holdings.Ouf joined CraftWorks last year after the company acquired 204-unit Logan’s, which he had served as CEO.Craftworks’ holdings extend to about 400 casual-dining restaurants, many with a brewery component. Its lesser-known brands include Sing Sing, a singalong piano concept.

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Yum! Brands Names Chris Turner as Chief Financial Officer

Yum! Brands today announced that Chris Turner, 44, will join the Company as Chief Financial Officer, reporting to Chief Executive Officer Greg Creed, effective August 8, 2019. In this role, Turner will assume global responsibility for finance, corporate strategy, supply chain and information technology.

June 26, 2019 04:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) today announced that Chris Turner, 44, will join the Company as Chief Financial Officer, reporting to Chief Executive Officer Greg Creed, effective August 8, 2019. In this role, Turner will assume global responsibility for finance, corporate strategy, supply chain and information technology.

Turner joins Yum! Brands from PepsiCo, where he most recently served as Senior Vice President and General Manager leading PepsiCo’s retail and ecommerce businesses with Walmart in the U.S. and more than 25 countries and across PepsiCo’s brands in the beverage, snack and nutrition categories. Today’s announcement concludes the previously announced search for Yum! Brands’ top financial post, which is currently held by David Gibbs, the Company’s President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer.

“On behalf of our leadership team and the Board of Directors, I am pleased to welcome Chris Turner to Yum! Brands as our new Chief Financial Officer. From his time at PepsiCo to his years at McKinsey & Company, Chris brings nearly 20 years of strategy, finance, M&A and operations leadership to Yum! Brands,” said Creed. “We are confident that Chris’ commercial experience with iconic consumer-oriented companies, particularly across the quick-service restaurant and retail sectors, will prove instrumental as we drive global growth, leveraging our unprecedented scale and maximizing value for our customers, franchisees, employees and shareholders.”

“Chris’ deep experience in the consumer sector, strong financial acumen and track record of growth leadership make him perfect for the CFO role at Yum! Brands. He has extensive experience delivering on aggressive performance targets and helping industry leaders navigate complex operating environments, M&A, disruptive innovation and category transformation, which will be invaluable to our company,” said Gibbs. “Chris will be a strategic partner as we leverage our scale to drive global same-store sales and net-new unit growth and improve franchise unit economics.”

Prior to leading PepsiCo’s Walmart business, Turner served as Senior Vice President of Transformation for PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America business, where he led the optimization of Frito-Lay’s world-class direct-store delivery capability as part of a broader transformation of the end-to-end value chain. Previously, he led the long-term strategic planning processes related to growth acceleration, category expansion and M&A as Senior Vice President of Strategy for Frito-Lay.

Chris previously spent more than 13 years at McKinsey & Company, one of the world’s largest strategic management consulting firms, where he served as a Partner in the firm’s Dallas office. During his time at the firm, he led the Service Operations practice in North America, the Restaurant Service Line and the Retail Operations team – over time serving clients in the retail, restaurant, consumer packaged goods, airline, high-tech and media industries. He holds an MBA from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Arkansas.

“It’s a privilege to join the world’s largest restaurant company, and I look forward to partnering with Yum! Brands’ global leadership team to drive growth and profitability for the company’s iconic KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands, franchisees and shareholders,” said Turner. “Yum! Brands’ laser-focused business strategy, financial discipline and emphasis on development, innovation and company culture are true differentiators, and I’m thrilled to be part of the company’s future success.”

About Yum! Brands

Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 48,000 restaurants in more than 145 countries and territories primarily operating the company’s restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food. Worldwide, the Yum! Brands system opens over eight new restaurants per day on average, making it a leader in global retail development. In 2018, Yum! Brands was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index and ranked among the top 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. In 2019, Yum! Brands was named to the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the second consecutive year.

View source version at Yum! Brands


He was named COO of Umami Burger. At the same time, parent SBE named John Polizzi VP of ops for Umami’s division, Disruptive Restaurant Group.By Peter Romeo on Jun. 25, 2019

Nate Appleman, the chef who developed additions to Chipotle Mexican Grill’s bare-bones menu during early stages of the brand’s turnaround effort, has joined the Umami Burger fast-casual chain as chief operating officer.Among his duties will be facilitating Umami’s expansion into lodging properties operated by Accor, the global hospitality company that purchased 50% of the burger chain’s parent company, SBE, in late 2018. The participants have vowed to open 100 of the burger restaurants in Accor holdings within seven years.Simultaneously, SBE said it has hired John Polizzi, a veteran of fine and upscale dining, to serve as VP of operations for Disruptive Restaurant Group (DRG), the division that includes Umami. DRG’s dozen or so restaurant brands include K Ramen. Burger. Beer., Tres and Double Barrel Roadhouse.Appleman joins Umami from OTG Management, a travel center concessionaire, where he worked as VP of culinary. He spent the seven years beforehand with Chipotle, using a unit in a Manhattan neighborhood to experiment with items such as queso and tofu. He collaborated heavily with Chipotle founder and then-CEO Steve Ells. Both Ells and Appleman graduated from the Culinary Institute of America.Before working in menu development for Chipotle, Appleman was a chef for New York City restaurants such as Keith McNally’s Pulino’s Bar and Pizzeria.Polizzi was previously VP of operations for Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer. Earlier, he worked for a number of high-end, high-volume operations, including Tao, China Club Management and Stephen Starr’s Philadelphia-based restaurant collection.SBE is a diversified hotel and restaurant operator whose holdings include Morgans, the boutique hotel group founded by former Studio 54 impresario Ian Schrager, and Hyde Hotel & Residences.

View source version at Umami Burger

Texas Roadhouse President, Scott Colosi, Announces Retirement

June 21, 2019 09:27 ET

LOUISVILLE, Ky., June 21, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Texas Roadhouse, Inc. (Nasdaq: TXRH) announced today that its President, Scott Colosi, has retired effective Thursday, June 20, 2019.

Colosi was hired in 2002 as Chief Financial Officer and was later promoted to President in 2011. During Colosi’s tenure, Texas Roadhouse was named one of the nation’s most Trustworthy Companies by Forbes and recently was named the Brand of the Year by the Harris Poll.

Kent Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of Texas Roadhouse, commented, “Scott has provided tremendous value to Texas Roadhouse over the past 17 years. He was instrumental in taking us public in 2004 and has contributed significantly to the growth of our brands. We wish Scott the best of luck as he embarks on his retirement.”

Along with his current roles, Taylor, who founded the company in 1993, will assume the role of President.

About Texas Roadhouse

Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Texas Roadhouse opened its doors in 1993 and has more than 590 locations in 49 states and ten foreign countries. The family-friendly restaurant is famous for hand-cut steaks, made-from-scratch sides, fresh-baked bread, and a lively atmosphere. Texas Roadhouse was named one of America’s Best Large Employers by Forbes in 2018. For more information, visit

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Wendy's ups Carl Loredo to US CMO

June 20, 2019 by Diana Bradley

Keeping Fortnite Fresh won Wendy's the Grand Prix Cannes Lion in the Social & Influencer category this week.

DUBLIN, OH: Wendy’s has promoted Carl Loredo to U.S. CMO.

Reporting to Wendy’s U.S. president and chief commercial officer Kurt Kane, Loredo is responsible for all North America marketing efforts for the brand. Kane has been in his current role since May, previously serving as Wendy’s EVP and chief concept and marketing officer.

Loredo's main focus in the role is differentiating Wendy’s through its brand platform We Got You, according to a release.

Loredo has worked at Wendy’s since January 2016. He joined the company as VP of brand marketing, where he was responsible for brand strategy and product development. In 2017, he took over the brand’s creative development and advertising, media buying and social programming responsibilities.

Before joining Wendy’s, Loredo was a VP at The Marketing Arm in Dallas, Texas, where he worked with clients such as Bud Light, Dannon Yogurt, Lay's, L’Oréal and Ruffles. He was also the multicultural agency practice lead with responsibility for positioning, opportunity assessment and new business.

Earlier in his career, Loredo was Craftmade International’s CMO and he held numerous marketing roles at PepsiCo.

Ketchum scored its biggest Cannes Lion trophy of the year on Wednesday for its work on the Keeping Fortnite Fresh campaign for Wendy’s, winning a PR credit for the Grand Prix in the Social & Influencer Lions.

Ketchum New York also won a Silver PR credit for the campaign, and its work for Wendy’s on the #NationalRoastDay promotion won it a Bronze in the category.

View source version at Wendy's

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