top of page

Executive Movements - December 2018

Jose 'Pepot' Miñana Assumes Role of Smashburger President

Dec 14th, 2018

CEO/Founder Tom Ryan Broadens Role to Impact JFC Portfolio

This morning, Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) and Smashburger announced key senior management changes reflecting the anticipated synergies between the two entities predicated on JFC's newly acquired majority interest in Smashburger.Jose "Pepot" Miñana has assumed the role of President of Smashburger. Mr. Miñana will oversee the daily operations of the company, collaborate on strategic and brand direction, and lead the continuous efforts to integrate Smashburger into the JFC portfolio of companies/brands. Mr. Miñana has held numerous senior management positions over his multi-decade tenure with JFC, most recently President of JFC North America. Tom Ryan, Smashburger Founder and CEO, will take on the additional title of Chief Product Development Advisor of JFC Global. In this new capacity, Mr. Ryan will focus on strengthening taste and quality aspects across key JFC brands as well as enhancing JFC brands' relevance across global markets. Mr. Ryan remains Smashburger CEO, focused on brand vision, strategy, product, and public relations.

Chipotle Completes Executive Leadership Team With Hiring Of Chief Legal Officer And Chief Development Officer

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Dec. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) today announced that its executive leadership team is now complete with the hiring of Roger Theodoredis as the company's chief legal officer and Tabassum Zalotrawala as chief development officer. Both Theodoredis and Zalotrawala will report to Brian Niccol, the company's chief executive officer. Chipotle has welcomed new executive leaders in 2018, beginning with Brian Niccol's appointment to CEO and member of the Board in March of this year. Each member of the team brings a unique set of experience that will allow Chipotle to deliver on its strategy of winning today and cultivating a better future. The full leadership team includes:

  1. Brian Niccol, chief executive officer

  2. Steve Ells, founder and executive chairman

  3. Marissa Andrada, chief people officer

  4. Scott Boatwright, chief restaurant officer

  5. Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer

  6. Curt Garner, chief digital and information officer

  7. Jack Hartung, chief financial officer

  8. Laurie Schalow, chief communications officer

  9. Roger Theodoredis, chief legal officer

  10. Tabassum Zalotrawala, chief development officer Specifically, the leadership team is focused on these five strategic focus areas:

  11. Becoming a more culturally relevant and engaging brand that builds love and loyalty;

  12. Digitizing and modernizing our restaurant experience to create a more convenient and enjoyable guest experience;

  13. Running great restaurants with great hospitality and throughput;

  14. Being disciplined and focused to enhance our powerful economic model; and

  15. Building a great culture that can innovate and execute across digital, access, menu, and the restaurant experience. "I am energized about having such a world-class executive leadership team in place to accelerate our strategic goals. Roger and Tabassum are perfect additions to the team, and their experience will be essential as Chipotle focuses on winning today and cultivating a better future," said Brian Niccol. "I'm confident that this team will lead Chipotle's culture of purpose, innovation, and accountability to deliver new levels of growth and value for customers and shareholders." Theodoredis comes to Chipotle from Danone North America, where he served as general secretary with responsibility for legal, public affairs, communications, scientific affairs and corporate security. He previously served in various legal roles at WhiteWave Foods Company until its acquisition by Danone, N.A. in April 2017, Mead Johnson Nutritionals and Chiquita Brands International. Zalotrawala most recently served as chief development officer and vice president design, construction, facilities and strategic sourcing at Panda Restaurant Group. She previously held roles at Arby's Restaurant Group, first as a franchisee and later focusing on store development and franchisee support. About Chipotle Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) is cultivating a better world by serving responsibly sourced, classically-cooked, real food with wholesome ingredients without added colors, flavors or other additives. Chipotle had more than 2,450 restaurants as of September 30, 2018 in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany and is the only restaurant company of its size that owns and operates all its restaurants. With more than 70,000 employees passionate about providing a great guest experience, Chipotle is a longtime leader and innovator in the food industry. Chipotle is committed to making its food more accessible to everyone while continuing to be a brand with a demonstrated purpose as it leads the way in digital, technology and sustainable business practices. Steve Ells, founder and executive chairman, first opened Chipotle starting with a single restaurant in Denver, Colorado in 1993. For more information or to place an order online, visit WWW.CHIPOTLE.COM.

Metro Diner Continues Growth With National Expansion And New C-Suite Team Members

Industry Veterans Stanley Goodman and John Kunkel Named to Executive Team

TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Metro Diner, known for its warm welcoming service and serious diner food, is ramping up its plans for continued national expansion with the appointment of Stanley Goodman as Chief Operating Officer and John Kunkel as Chief Financial Officer. The rapidly growing family diner concept currently has 63 diners around the country and is expected to have 66 diners open by the end of the year, representing a 46 percent annual growth rate.

"The big picture as we continue our solid growth is to bring aboard top-level industry professionals to supplement our high impact leadership team," said Carl Sahlsten, Chief Executive Officer of Metro Diner. "We have always been focused on operations and we're thrilled to have Stanley drive operational excellence. As CFO, John brings extensive financial experience that will complement our solid foundation permitting continued growth."

Stanley Goodman worked previously with the founders of ConSul Partners, operating the Outback Steakhouses in Canada. As the Chief Operating Officer, Goodman will bring a laser focus to the team by sharing his standard of excellence and entrepreneurial spirit and inspire the Managing Partners who own and operate their respective Metro Diners. He will also play a key role in the company's industry-leading, management development program to support continued growth around the country. "It's not about how fast we grow but how well we execute – providing every guest with dishes made of quality ingredients and an unbelievable experience," said Goodman. "We have confidence that with great Managing Partners at every diner, we will continue our strong growth and be even more competitive in the industry." John Kunkel, the newly appointed Chief Financial Officer of Metro Diner, also has a successful history on the investment side of the concept. Kunkel will be responsible for elevating and enhancing financial projections and clearly communicating with investor partners. "There is a strong nucleus of senior leaders in the home office whose track record speaks for itself and completely understands from experience how to bring solid growth to a great brand like Metro Diner," said Kunkel. "I'm excited to join them in sharing a 110 percent dedication to supporting each of the diners in a drive to maintain consistency and great guest experiences while continuing to lead the family dining sector as a growth company." With the additions of Goodman and Kunkel to the leadership team, Metro Diner is poised for continued growth with plans to expand its footprint in current markets and add Tennessee and South Carolina to its growth markets. For more information, please visit About Metro Diner Established in 1992 by the Davoli family with a single eatery in Jacksonville, Metro Diner is poised to continue being among the nation's fastest growing restaurant concepts and industry leaders in family dining.   Metro Diner is known for its warm, welcoming service, large portion sizes and serious diner food. With most dishes priced under $15, the eatery offers a great value during their all-day breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also offer catering options. Metro Diner's made-from-scratch menu features quality ingredients and signature dishes including Fried Chicken and Waffle, Charleston Shrimp & Grits, and their famous Meatloaf Plate. To learn more about Metro Diner or to find a full list of locations, please visit 'Like' Metro Diner on Facebook, or follow @MetroDiner on Instagram and Twitter. Contact: Carly (Sanders) Schulman, 561-998-1995,

Ruby Slipper Restaurant Group Names Jennifer Beougher First CFO December 12, 2018 New Orleans-based Ruby Slipper Restaurant Group, comprised of the iconic Ruby Slipper Café and the newly launched concept Ruby Sunshine, announced that Jennifer Beougher will become its first Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately. Beougher most recently held the position of Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis at Cracker Barrel. As CFO of Ruby Slipper Restaurant Group, Beougher’s duties will include oversight of the rapidly growing company’s financial structure as well as management of their accounting team. “Jen has a proven track record of success at world-class companies,” says Jennifer Weishaupt, co-founder of Ruby Slipper Restaurant Group. “Her ability to not only grow businesses, but also foster a positive company culture, made her the perfect fit to be our first CFO.” “I’m thrilled to be joining the Ruby Slipper Restaurant Group," says Beougher. “Helping to shape the future of an iconic New Orleans company was an opportunity that I just couldn’t resist.” Beougher worked at Bloomin’ Brands, the parent company of Outback Steakhouse, for more than ten years. While there, she held a myriad of roles within the company’s accounting, project management and finance departments before becoming the Senior Director of Financial Planning and Analysis. Prior to her tenure at Bloomin’ Brands, she worked at Arthur Andersen and Chico’s FAS, Inc. in accounting positions. Beougher received her Bachelor’s in Accounting and Information Systems from Boston University and her Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Florida.

Dunkin' Brands Promotes Company Veteran John Varughese to Head International Businesses

Company has almost 9,000 Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins stores in almost 70 countries outside the U.S.

Dec 10, 2018, 07:00 ET

CANTON, Mass., Dec. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN), the parent company of Dunkin' (DD) and Baskin-Robbins (BR), announced today that John Varughese has been promoted to Senior Vice President, International with responsibility for all aspects of Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin' business units outside the U.S. Mr. Varughese will report directly to Dave Hoffmann, Dunkin' Brands CEO and Dunkin' U.S. President, and will serve on the Company's leadership team. He replaces Nigel Travis, Dunkin' Brands Chairman, who served as interim head of International for the past nine months. Mr. Travis will continue in his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

A veteran Dunkin' Brands executive, Mr. Varughese has been with the Company for 16 years, all of it working with the Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin' international business units. Prior to joining Dunkin' Brands, he worked for seven years with the Galadari Ice Cream Company in the Middle East, one of the largest Baskin-Robbins international licensees. Mr. Varughese began his career in international sales with Smith Kline Beecham Consumer Brands.

"John is a seasoned international retail executive with a deep understanding of both the Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin' brands and the countries we serve," said Dave Hoffmann.  "His appointment as the head of our international business enables us to seamlessly continue our support of franchisees and licensees and strategically grow our two brands outside the U.S." Under Mr. Varughese's leadership, both brands have recently launched new store concepts, with new coffee-forward Dunkin' restaurants now in ten countries with over 150 locations. He has also greatly expanded the number of licensed Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin' products offered in retail outlets and dramatically increased the home delivery business for both brands. Home delivery of Baskin-Robbins or Dunkin' products is now available in more than 30 countries. Mr. Varughese has a bachelor's degree in commerce, a master's degree in commerce and an M.B.A. in marketing. About Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. With more than 20,700 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 third quarter 2018, Dunkin' Brands' 100 percent franchised business model included more than 12,700 Dunkin' restaurants and more than 8,000 Baskin-Robbins shops. Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. is headquartered in Canton, Mass.

By Chloe Names Patrik Hellstrand CEO

The fast-growing plant-based chain is plotting rapid growth in 2019.

By Heather Lalley on Dec. 06, 2018

The former CEO of Oath Pizza is the new head of fast-growing plant-based fast-casual chain By Chloe, the company announced Thursday.

Patrik Hellstrand, who also previously held an executive post with the Equinox luxury gym chain, will steer 13-unit By Chloe as it expands.

In April, the 3-year-old chain announced it had received $31 million from several capital funds and that it planned to double its units in the U.S. and internationally.

“I’ve long been committed to the movement and focus around wholesome food and sustainability, which is why I love how By Chloe has been able to carve out a niche and offer a plant-based menu with an added, uniquely indulgent, feel-good food experience,” Hellstrand said in a statement. The chain’s recent growth has not come without some internal strife. Co-founder and namesake Chloe Coscarelli was ousted from the brand in 2017 after an arbitrator declared her “grossly negligent” in the company’s business dealings. Coscarelli then filed suit against By Chloe’s owners for trademark infringement, demanding that the chain stop using her name. The suit was later dismissed.

Former El Pollo Loco CMO Joins Friendly's as Chief Branding Officer December 06, 2018 FIC Restaurants, Inc. announced the appointment of Ed Valle as its chief branding officer. Valle, who has over 20 years of experience in restaurants, consumer packaged goods, and brand marketing at both the national and global level, is excited to bring his insight to the Friendly’s executive team. Valle officially assumed this role on October 15 and reports to Friendly’s Chief Executive Officer George Michel. “We look forward to strengthening the leadership team of Friendly’s with the appointment of Ed Valle, an executive whose proven track record will make him instrumental in helping to elevate the Friendly’s brand in the future,” says Michel. “I know firsthand how effective Ed can be with turning a brand around, and as someone with a similar background I feel confident that we will join forces to reestablish Friendly’s position in the dining space.” Valle joins the Friendly’s team with an extensive background of valuable experiences, all of which have prepared him for his new role. For the last seven years, Valle served as chief marketing officer for El Pollo Loco, Inc., where he and his team developed and launched the turnaround strategy that led to the brand’s 2014 IPO. Prior to entering the restaurant industry and leading the marketing and brand strategy at El Pollo Loco, Valle held the role of chief marketing strategist for Choice Hotels International, Inc. As a veteran marketing executive, earlier, Valle also served as vice president of marketing at Panera Bread Company. Additionally, he has held marketing leadership positions at Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway Restaurants, Diageo, and Nestlé. “Growing up in the Northeast and having spent time living in the Boston area, I have many great memories of times spent at Friendly’s restaurants. I’m thrilled to return to the East Coast and begin to work on restoring this well-respected brand to what it once was for so many people, including myself,” adds Valle. “I look forward to working alongside a fantastic team led by the former CEO of Boston Market, George Michel, whose wealth of knowledge on the food service industry, as well as how to effectively turn restaurant brands around, is invaluable. Valle holds a bachelor's degree in operations and logistics management from Michigan State University and a master’s of business administration from Fordham University.

Alan Magee Named Vice President of Digital Marketing and Technology for Church's Chicken

Magee comes to Church's after serving two years as Senior Director of Brand Marketing for Moe's Southwest Grill, a division of FOCUS Brands.

Alan Magee is joining Church's as its new Vice President of Digital Marketing and Technology, leading all marketing efforts for the company and its agency partners in utilization of non-traditional and emerging digital medias and technology. "The decision to bring Alan aboard is tied directly to the rollout of our new global brand positioning," says , Chief Executive Officer for Church's. "As our brand moves in an increasingly digital direction, we've created this role specifically to address the unique needs, challenges, and opportunities that come with marketing across digital and non-traditional platforms. Alan has a strong track record in the restaurant industry for being able to establish and lead an entire digital ecosystem. His expertise is going to be instrumental in achieving the best-in-class market position we're pursuing going forward. We're very excited to have him join the team." In his new role at Church's, Magee is tasked with overseeing Church's entire digital evolution as the brand transitions from a traditional-marketing-only brand to one that utilizes a broad scope of marketing channels to bring marketing campaigns to life, engage with guests on their terms, build loyalty, and attract a new generation of "Flavor First Fans" through a frictionless experience. Magee comes to Church's after serving two years as Senior Director of Brand Marketing for Moe's Southwest Grill, a division of FOCUS Brands. While there, he oversaw all elements of brand marketing, including calendar strategy, product innovation, brand positioning, and the brand's newly announced "Oasis" prototype restaurant. His "digital first" approach brings digital & social media, content relationship management, online ordering, and loyalty platforms all under the same umbrella – a proven tactic that will undoubtedly influence Church's future digital marketing strategy. Other restaurant experience for Magee includes serving as a Brand Marketing Manager for Arby's Restaurant Group. Outside of the restaurant industry, Magee also formerly worked with InterContinental Hotels Group on the repositioning of the Crowne Plaza brand as well as the hotel group's integrated partnerships with the PGA TOUR and BMW Motorsports. He will personally lead several agency relationships. "It is always gratifying to be able to work with a brand that is on its way up," says Magee. "Church's has been making great strides in the industry lately and I'm looking forward to making the kinds of contributions that help the brand earn greater market share and stronger brand presence worldwide." Magee is currently a member of the University of Georgia's Digital Marketing Executive Board. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Clemson University and a Master's Degree in Advertising from The University of Texas at Austin.

Your Pie Hires New COO

Dec. 3, 2018 Your Pie has named former Back Yard Burgers CEO Dave McDougall as its new COO, a news release said. He has more than 30 years of experience in franchise operations, development and expansion, and at Your Pie will oversee operations and marketing, with an emphasis on market research and new product development. Most recently as president and CEO at Back Yard Burgers in Nashville, Tennessee, McDougall led the brand's turnaround through improved financial performance and franchisee relations. Before that, he was Focus Brands' vice president of operations and led the marketing team that grew Cinnabon franchises internationally, including overseeing operations for more than 1,000 Cinnabon and Carvel outlets. "I am thrilled to join the Your Pie team as we usher in the brand's second decade, and hope to help lay the foundation for the next 10 years of success," McDougall said in the release. "I have always been passionate about the franchise model, and as chief operating officer, I plan to place tremendous focus on current franchisees and how we can best support them while maintaining steady growth. "I see tremendous potential in this brand and in the fast casual pizza sector, and I look forward to working alongside (CEO) Drew (French) and team to create an impact in decade two." Your Pie was founded in 2008 by culinary entrepreneur Drew French, and the brand now has more than 60 U.S. stores with about 50 locations in development.

Potbelly Corporation Appoints New Chief Financial Officer and Announces Promotion in Operational Leadership

CHICAGO, Dec. 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Potbelly Corporation (NASDAQ: PBPB) today announced that Thomas J. Fitzgerald will be joining the Potbelly executive team as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Fitzgerald will lead the Company’s financial functions, including financial planning and analysis, accounting and financial reporting, tax, treasury, investor relations and enterprise procurement.

Alan Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Potbelly, said, "We are delighted to welcome Tom to the Potbelly team. He brings extensive financial planning and operations experience across a number of leading multi-unit consumer retail companies, and has a proven track record of transformational leadership, with particularly relevant experience leading turnaround strategy development and execution. Tom will bring great value to Potbelly and play a key role in shaping and implementing our strategic initiatives, as we continue to work to reposition the Company for sustainable profitable growth over the long term and to maximize shareholder value.”

Mr. Fitzgerald assumes his new role with over 30 years of experience in a number of executive roles across a variety of leading multi-unit consumer-facing companies. Most recently, Mr. Fitzgerald served as President and CFO at Charming Charlie, where he had previously served as CAO and CFO. Prior to his roles at Charming Charlie, Mr. Fitzgerald was CAO of Sears Canada, held several leadership positions at Liz Claiborne, Inc., was CFO at Burlington Coat Factory, was COO of Bath & Body Works, and spent the first 16 years of his career at PepsiCo, where he held various leadership roles in finance and planning. Mr. Fitzgerald completed his undergraduate work at the University of Florida, and earned an MBA from the Indiana University School of Business.

In addition, Julie Younglove-Webb has been promoted to Chief Restaurant Operations Officer. In this position, she will continue to lead Potbelly’s day-to-day restaurant operations, as she has successfully done for the past three years, and will also assume leadership for training and the off-premise business. Ms. Younglove-Webb currently serves as Senior Vice President, Operations, a role she has held since 2015. Ms. Younglove-Webb has worked for Potbelly since 2008, first learning operations as a General Manager and then as a District Manager before assuming various operations roles and being promoted to Central Zone Manager overseeing 220 shops in 2010. Prior to Potbelly, Julie served as Senior Vice President, Customer Experience, and before that served as Vice President, Marketing at Kmart. She began her career with IBM in 1997 in Retail Planning and Forecasting Technology and worked with several large retailers prior to joining Kmart. Julie completed her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan, and received an MBA from Wayne State University.About Potbelly

Potbelly Corporation is a neighborhood sandwich concept that has been feeding customers’ smiles with warm, toasty sandwiches, signature salads, hand-dipped shakes and other fresh menu items, customized just the way customers want them, for more than 40 years. Potbelly promises Fresh, Fast & Friendly service in an environment that reflects the local neighborhood. Since opening its first shop in Chicago in 1977, Potbelly has expanded to neighborhoods across the country - with more than 400 company-owned shops in the United States. Additionally, Potbelly franchisees operate more than 50 shops domestically, in the Middle East, Canada and India. For more information, please visit our website at

Contact: Investor 312-428-2950

The Little Beet Appoints Former Starbucks Veteran, Becky Mulligan, to Chief Executive Officer

Industry Veteran to Spearhead the Plant-Inspired Fast Casual's Growth Nationwide

Nov 28, 2018, 11:36 ET

NEW YORK, Nov. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Little Beet, a plant inspired fast-casual restaurant, announced today that it has named Becky Mulligan as its chief executive officer. Mulligan is an industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience leading operations, innovation and program development for internationally recognized retail and food brands. In her new role, she will oversee The Little Beet's vision, operations and nationwide development plans. Since its founding in 2014, the New York-based restaurant brand committed to providing a healthier lifestyle has grown to nine locations across the state, and has also expanded to Washington, D.C. and Virginia.

"We're excited for Becky to lead us into 2019. Her leadership skills, work ethic and strong business acumen will help us become the leader in our growing segment," said Andy Duddleston, co-founder of The Little Beet. "While 2018 was a successful year for us, with Becky's leadership, we have no doubt that next year will be our most successful year in business and that The Little Beet will continue to position itself for long-term success." Mulligan joins The Little Beet after nearly 16 years with Starbucks where she held a variety of positions. Most recently, she served as regional director of the company's Seattle, Washingtonmarket, and led several key initiatives for 95 Starbucks stores throughout the region. In addition to her localized work, Mulligan was instrumental in the development and ongoing innovation behind Starbucks' mobile order app, ensuring that the brand's highly acclaimed in-store experience was consistent through off-premises orders and delivery. Prior to Starbucks, Mulligan was with Kinko's for 12 years where she worked in leadership and management, as well as corporate sales. With her competence in the digital and retail realm, Becky will bolster The Little Beet's retail operations and digital initiatives. "The Little Beet has certainly made a name for itself throughout New York City, as well as the D.C. area, and is poised for explosive growth as consumers become more health conscious and attracted to plant-based meal options," said Mulligan, chief executive officer of The Little Beet. "I feel that there is a natural synergy between the brand's mission and the lifestyle I lead day to day, which is why I'm so excited to join the brand and expand our concept across the country." Mulligan's appointment comes after John Rigos, interim CEO of The Little Beet and co-CEO of Aurify Brands, announced he would be shifting his efforts to strengthening Aurify Brands' portfolio and partnerships. To learn more about The Little Beet, visit About The Little Beet The Little Beet is a plant inspired, fast-casual restaurant committed to living well. Our mission is to give people access to better food and provide knowledge they need to make healthy choices for their mind, body and lifestyle. Founded in 2014 in New York City, The Little Beet is owned and operated by NYC-based restaurant group Aurify Brands. With nine locations throughout Manhattan, Long Island, and Washington, DC, The Little Beet is committed to serve real food deliciously. The plant inspired, seasonal menu is 100% gluten-free, mostly vegan, always fresh, and void of refined sugar. The culinary team draws inspiration from global flavors and incorporates exciting, nutrient-rich ingredients into every tasty bite that benefit both body and mind. All ingredients are carefully sourced from farms and food purveyors you can trust. For more information, visit About Aurify Brands Aurify Brands is a next generation hospitality group focused on feeding people happiness everyday. We don't build restaurants. We build great teams and empower them to build great restaurant companies. Our unique competitive advantage is a Platform built to accelerate the lifecycle of a business. At the core of the Platform is the confluence of human engagement and data analytics, which provide the knowledge to understand what customers want and need. This allows our teams to hyper-customize customer experience while simultaneously creating enterprise value. MEDIA CONTACT: Caitlin Willard Fish Consulting 954-893-9150

1 view0 comments


bottom of page