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Executive Movements - January 2019

Subway's James Walker Resigns January 19, 2019

James Walker, Subway's Vice President of North America has resigned effective immediately. Walker issued a brief statement, but declined to comment further. Walker joined Subway in 2017 as the VP of Development and promoted to his current role in 2018.

Subway released the following statement: “James Walker resigned effective today to pursue other opportunities.”

Ian Martin, vice president of international, was named acting chief business development officer overseeing both international and North American markets.

John Butcher Named CEO for Caribou Coffee

January, 21 2019

Butcher replaces Sarah Spiegel as President & CEO of Caribou Coffee.

Caribou Coffee announced John Butcher has been appointed President & CEO. Butcher has served as President of Caribou Coffee since joining the company in June of 2017. "Since John joined our company, we've witnessed an increased focus on Caribou's people and culture, resulting in quarter after-quarter performance gains and the highest guest satisfaction ratings we've ever seen at Caribou," says Mike Tattersfield, Chairman, Coffee & Bagel Brands. "I am humbled and honored to lead such an iconic Midwestern brand," says Butcher. "Every day at Caribou we have the opportunity to help people start their morning with an amazing, locally roasted cup of coffee and a great interaction. It's a moment that can make a person's day and I think that's truly rewarding." Before coming to Caribou Coffee in 2017, Butcher spent 20 years at Minneapolis-based Target and held a variety of Merchandising and Marketing leadership roles including Senior Vice President of Merchandising, Beauty and Dermstore, Senior Vice President of Merchandising Category Roles and Senior Vice President of Merchandising at Target Canada Co. Butcher graduated from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. Butcher replaces Sarah Spiegel as President & CEO of Caribou Coffee.

Craftworks Holdings Taps Celebrated Chef Jason Brumm to Lead Culinary Innovation for Specialty Brewery Restaurant Division

January 17, 2019

Nashville, TN  (  CraftWorks Holdings, a restaurant company with 390 locations across 40 states, has tapped culinary expert and chef Jason Brumm to serve as Vice President of Culinary for the Brewery and Specialty restaurant division. In this position, Brumm, will be responsible for developing fresh and dynamic menus for Rock Bottom, Gordon Biersch, Chophouse, A1A, Big River, Bluewater Grill, Ragtime, Seven Bridges and Sing Sing, which are among CraftWorks’ leading concepts. Prior to joining CraftWorks Holdings, Brumm served in top culinary positions at iconic, Nashville-based, multi-concept hospitality groups – A. Ray Hospitality and Strategic Hospitality. His role as Culinary Director extended to brands including M.L. Rose Craft Burgers & Beer, Von Elrod’s Beer Garden & Sausage House, The Sutler Saloon, Melrose Billiard Parlor, and Rambler Cocktail Bar. “Throughout his career, Jason has introduced pioneering, delicious food that has come to define many beloved and respected restaurant concepts,” said Hazem Ouf, Chairman and CEO of CraftWorks Holdings. “This innovative culinary approach will play a pivotal role for Craftworks’ brands as we emphasize quality and differentiation in our menu offerings to respond to the evolving tastes of our guests.  We are thrilled that Jason will be part of our leadership team during this exciting time for Craftworks Holdings and look forward to unveiling exceptional new menus and food programs across our brands.” Previously, Brumm was also the Culinary Operations Director for Strategic Hospitality where he oversaw food programs at Merchants, Pinewood Social, Paradise Park Trailer Resort, Le Sel, and The Band Box.  Brumm’s original and acclaimed menu items have been featured in publications such as Bon Appetit, Men’s Health, Robb Report and Zagat. His television appearances include “Unique Eats” on the Cooking Channel and he has competed in and won the “Chef Wanted” series with Anne Burrell on the Food Network. Jason attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Post-graduation he headed abroad to work in Michelin-starred kitchens in Toulouse, France and further enhanced his education in Rome, Florence and Sardinia, Italy. “I’m thrilled to be joining the Craftworks Holdings leadership team at such an exciting time in the company’s evolution and bringing a fresh culinary perspective and passion for food to this iconic brand,” said Brumm.  “We have a unique opportunity to share our passion for hospitality with our guests and team members through innovative and creative menus and ingredients.” For more information about CraftWorks Holdings, visit About CraftWorks Holdings: CraftWorks Holdings is the nation’s leading and premier operator and franchisor of full-service dining restaurants, spanning a national footprint of over 390 restaurants and breweries in 40 states and the District of Columbia. The company’s diverse portfolio of restaurants brands includes Logan’s Roadhouse, Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, and a collection of restaurants-brewery brands, including Rock Bottom Restaurants & Breweries and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants. CraftWorks Holdings also operates a collection of specialty restaurant concepts including Chophouse, Big River Grill, BlueWater Grille, AIA Ale Works, Ragtime Tavern & Seafood Grill, Seven Bridges Grill & Brewery and Sing-Sing, a dueling pianos concept. Media Contact: Rachel Treadwell 615-483-8360

MOD Pizza Appoints Mark Shambura as Chief Marketing Officer

January 16, 2019

Industry veteran brings experience growing brand awareness and building customer loyalty Shambura joins MOD after five years with Chipotle Mexican Grill, where he was executive director of marketing, overseeing most of the key marketing functions supporting Chipotle’s 2,400+ restaurants. Originally hired to create and manage Chipotle’s first brand team, his responsibilities expanded to include overall brand strategy, advertising, digital, social, events/sponsorships, promotions and field marketing. In 2016, Shambura served as interim head of marketing for Chipotle, overseeing global efforts for the organization’s full portfolio of concepts.Seattle, WA  (  MOD Super Fast Pizza Holdings, LLC (“MOD Pizza”, “MOD” or the “Company”), today announced the appointment of Mark Shambura as its chief marketing officer (“CMO”). Shambura will lead the Company’s overall brand and marketing strategy for its 400+ system-wide* locations across the US and UK, with a focus on building awareness of the MOD brand while deepening MOD’s relationship with its customers. Prior to Chipotle, Shambura spent eight years at Creative Artists Agency where he helped launch Chipotle’s award-winning “Back to the Start” campaign, hailed by Advertising Age as one of the “Top Campaigns of the Century” as well as developing marketing strategies for Starbucks, Coca-Cola and eBay. Shambura also served as head of brand marketing, senior director at One Kings Lane, the home décor e-commerce platform. “Mark is an intuitive and collaborative leader with deep expertise in complex national and local marketing operations. He will add tremendous value to MOD’s executive team at a critical stage in our growth as we extend our leadership in the fast casual pizza category and double-down on our commitment to making a positive social impact. During his time with Chipotle – one of the most iconic brands in the fast casual space – Mark helped shepherd their marketing function through periods of both sustained growth and transition,” said Scott Svenson, co-founder and CEO of MOD. “His experience and leadership will be invaluable as we continue to build our brand, deepen our connections in the markets we serve, and drive awareness of MOD’s purpose beyond pizza.” Added Shambura, “MOD’s special culture and purpose is truly unique in our industry. I’m thrilled to join a team that is not only dedicated to growing a world class brand, but that is also deeply committed to being a force for good. It’s rare to find a company where these values complement each other, and I look forward to contributing to MOD’s continued success as a leading people-first brand.” Shambura has relocated from New York City to the Greater Seattle area with his family and is based at MOD’s Bellevue, Washington Support Center. About MOD Pizza MOD is a purpose-led, people focused brand, founded in Seattle in 2008 by entrepreneur husband and wife team Scott and Ally Svenson. MOD’s individual artisan-style pizzas and hand-tossed salads are made on demand using any combination of over 30 toppings, all for one incredible price. With 400+ locations system-wide* across 28 states and the United Kingdom, MOD is committed to creating not only a cool place to eat, but an inspired place to work. The company has been recognized as the number one mid-sized restaurant chain in the US in the October 2017 Fishbowl Buzz Brands Report, named as the most loved pizza brand by Foodable Network, has been ranked as America’s fastest growing chain restaurant by Technomic, earned a spot on the Inc.500 list, and was recognized by Fortune as one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Retail,” a “Best Workplace for Women,” a “Best Workplace for Millennials,” and a “Best Workplace for Diversity.” For more information, please or connect with the brand via FacebookTwitter or Instagram.   *The term “system-wide” refers to all company-operated and licensed store locations. Media Contact: Charlotte Wayte MOD Pizza 206-261-4963

Sage Restaurant Group Promotes SVP of Operations to COOJanuary 16, 2019

Denver — Sage Restaurant Group, a Denver-based independent restaurant group, has promoted its senior vice president of operations, Brent Berkowitz, to chief operating officer.

Initially hired as senior vice president of operations in early 2018, Berkowitz has worked diligently throughout the year to uphold and refine operational excellence for the company, while specializing in curating guest experience and maximizing revenue at each concept under the SRG umbrella. Restaurants include Urban Farmer, Emporium Kitchen, Departure, Hello Betty, Kachina Cantina, The Original Dinerant, Mercat and The Corner Office. “Brent has an impressive amount of experience in the hospitality industry, and a stellar track record of increasing sales year over year,” says Walter Isenberg, Sage Hospitality’s president and CEO. “We are thrilled to have him trailblaze Sage Restaurant Group into its next chapter.” Berkowitz first landed in the restaurant industry at age 17, trying his hand at every position from server to bartender to chef, and finally to general manager. He took his management experience to Los Angeles, where he was quickly recruited by Innovative Dining Group and served as director of development and operations for 8 years. His breadth of experience serves him well as he leads SRG on its path to further growth and supports its mission to redefine hotel dining. “I am honored to lead the charge operationally at Sage Restaurant Group,” says Berkowitz. “I look forward to applying my experience, skill and knowledge in this new role, and making valuable contributions to an already successful company.” Denver-based Sage Restaurant Group operates independent restaurants, adjacent to hotels, which deliver exceptional catering and in-room dining experiences. For more information, visit

Panera Bread Adds Industry Veterans Karen Kelley as SVP, Chief Restaurant Operations Officer and Anita Vanderveer as SVP, Chief People Officer

Hires Support Company’s Focus on Guest Experience and Talent

January 15, 2019 06:00 ET

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Panera Bread announced today that Karen Kelley and Anita Vanderveer have recently joined the company’s senior management team as SVP, Chief Restaurant Operations Officer, and SVP, Chief People Officer, respectively. Kelley will lead operations across all bakery-cafes and Vanderveer will lead all Human Resources initiatives. Both executives will report directly to Blaine Hurst, President and CEO. “I am thrilled to welcome Karen and Anita to Team Panera. Their experience and leadership in the restaurant industry is truly unparalleled,” said Hurst.  “I’m looking forward to working alongside them to strengthen and grow both the guest experience and the associate experience.” As a well-known leader in the restaurant category, Kelley brings more than 30 years of experience to Panera. She’s a world-class, innovative operations leader who has built her career by focusing on harnessing people’s abilities to grow and deliver phenomenal results. Most recently, Kelley served as the president of Tatte Bakery & Cafe and prior to that was the President and COO of Sweetgreen. She started her career pursuing her bachelor’s while working in Taco Bell in college and holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Colorado Boulder in political science and government. “The opportunity to help shape and deliver the Panera experience is one that doesn’t come around very often,” Kelley said.  “I’m excited to join Panera and look forward to building on the incredible accomplishments of the team.” Vanderveer is a people focused, forward-thinking, innovative leader who brings extensive human resources experience to Panera. Most recently, Anita served as senior vice president of people for the national headquarters of SONIC®, America’s Drive-In®. Vanderveer began her career with Pizza Hut/Yum! Brands more than 25 years ago in restaurant operations and has served in a variety of human resources executive positions. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Mountain State University in organizational leadership and a master’s degree in education, human resource development from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime. I’ve always admired Panera and I’m thrilled to lead the people organization and our world class associate experience initiatives,” Vanderveer said. About Panera Bread  Thirty years ago, at a time when quick service meant low quality, Panera set out to challenge this expectation. We believed that food that was good and that you could feel good about, served in a warm and welcoming environment by people who cared, could bring out the best in all of us. To us, that is food as it should be and that is why we exist. So we began with a simple commitment: to bake bread fresh every day in our bakery-cafes. No short cuts, just bakers with simple ingredients and hot ovens. Each night, any unsold bread and baked goods were shared with neighbors in need. These traditions carry on today, as we have continued to find ways to be an ally for wellness to our guests. That means crafting a menu of soups, salads and sandwiches that we are proud to feed our families. Like poultry and pork raised without antibiotics on our salads and sandwiches. A commitment to transparency and options that empower our guests to eat the way they want. Seasonal flavors and whole grains. And a commitment to removing or not using artificial additives (preservatives, sweeteners, flavors, and colors from artificial sources) in the food in our bakery-cafes. Why? Because we think that simpler is better and we believe in serving food as it should be. Because when you don’t have to compromise to eat well, all that is left is the joy of eating. We’re also focused on improving quality and convenience. With investments in technology and operations, we now offer new ways to enjoy your Panera favorites – like mobile ordering and Rapid Pick-Up® for to-go orders and delivery – all designed to make things easier for our guests. As a result, Panera has been one of the most successful restaurant companies in history. What started as one 400-square-foot cookie store in Boston has grown into a company with more than 2,300 units, nearly $6 billion in system-wide sales, and over 100,000 associates. In more than 25 years as a publicly traded company, Panera has created significant shareholder value. In late 2017, Panera acquired Au Bon Pain Holding Co. Inc., parent company of the 304-unit Au Bon Pain bakery-café chain. The acquisition reunites Panera and Au Bon Pain, both of which were founded by Ron Shaich, and will intensify Panera’s growth in new real estate channels, including hospitals, universities and transportation centers. As of December 28, 2018 there were 2,114 bakery-cafes in 48 states and in Ontario, Canada, operating under the Panera Bread® or Saint Louis Bread Co. ® names.  For more information, visit or find us on Twitter (@panerabread), Facebook ( or Instagram (@panerabread). Media Contact:  Jessica Hesselschwerdt

JAB Announces Organizational Changes as Part of Global Expansion

Bart Becht to Retire in 2019; Peter Harf and Olivier Goudet To Continue to Lead JAB

Fabien Simon, Ricardo Rittes and Jacek Szarzynski to Join the JAB Partnership

January 14, 2019 03:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

LUXEMBOURG--(BUSINESS WIRE)--JAB today announced the retirement of Bart Becht during 2019. Peter Harf and Olivier Goudet will continue to lead JAB and oversee its investment strategy. JAB also welcomes consumer industry veterans Fabien Simon, Ricardo Rittes and Jacek Szarzynski to the JAB Partnership, where they will play key roles in continuing JAB’s strategy of long-term value creation. “Bart has been a valued member of the JAB team for many decades,” said Mr. Harf. “Having worked with him since our days at RB, I will miss our day-to-day interactions on a personal level but wish him all the best during his well-deserved retirement.” “I deeply appreciate Bart’s dedication to working with our portfolio companies over the years and thank him for his contribution to JAB,” said Mr. Goudet. “At the same time we are excited to further strengthen our team with Fabien, Ricardo and Jacek, all of whom have impeccable track records of long-term shareholder value creation in the consumer industry.” "After almost 40 years in the branded consumer business, I have decided it is time to refocus my activities and retire,” said Mr. Becht. “It has been a tremendous privilege and pleasure to work with JAB and the many people within its portfolio companies and I wish them continued success.” Fabien Simon, a French national, will become Partner and Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) of JAB. Fabien spent four years at JAB portfolio company Jacobs Douwe Egberts (“JDE”), where he oversaw the integration of Douwe Egberts and the coffee business of Mondelez to create JDE, led its M&A strategy, and transformed JDE into a global powerhouse in coffee. Prior to working at JDE Fabien spent 14 years at Mars holding many leadership roles including in Petcare and in the Asia/Pacific regions. Ricardo Rittes, a Brazilian national, will join the JAB Partnership and lead expansion into emerging markets by opening a new office in Sao Paulo. Ricardo has deep emerging market experience having spent 14 years at Anheuser Busch Inbev (“ABI”), during which time he was Global Treasurer and executed over $75 billion in financings including the landmark $45 billion acquisition financing for Anheuser Busch. He also served as CFO of Ambev, a publicly listed company controlled by ABI, where he significantly improved the financial profile of the business. Jacek Szarzynski, a Polish national, will join JAB as Lead Operating Partner for JAB’s newly created Pret Panera Holding Company, where he will be responsible for the overall long-term success of the platform. Jacek joins JAB after a 24-year career at Mars, where he held several leadership positions in a number of major businesses at Mars including Global Petcare, Global Food and Global Drinks. During his tenure at Mars, he consistently achieved above market growth while also delivering significant operating profit margin expansion. About JAB Holding Company JAB Holding Company and JAB Consumer Fund invest in companies with premium brands, attractive growth and strong cash flow dynamics in the consumer category. Together, JAB Holding Company and JAB Consumer Fund have controlling stakes in Keurig Dr Pepper, a challenger & leader in the North American beverage market, Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE), the largest pure-play FMCG coffee company in the world, Panera Bread, a leading bakery-cafe company, Pret A Manger, a leading company in the ready-to-eat food market, Peet's Coffee & Tea, a premier specialty coffee and tea company, Caribou Coffee Company, a specialty retailer of high-quality premium coffee products, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc., the leader in the North-American bagel category, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, a global leader in doughnuts and other premium-quality sweet treats, and in Espresso House, the largest branded coffee shop chain in Scandinavia. JAB Holding Company is also the largest shareholder in Coty Inc., a global leader in beauty, and owns a controlling stake in luxury goods company Bally as well as a minority stake in Reckitt Benckiser PLC, a global leader in health, hygiene and home products. For more information, please visit the company's website at:

Contacts JAB Holding Company Contacts: Abernathy MacGregor Tom Johnson/Pat Tucker, +1 212-371-5999

Roger Mader Acting as Interim CMO at Subway

January 14, 2019 Roger Mader, co-founder and managing partner of marketing agency Ampersand, is acting as Subway’s interim chief marketing officer following the retirement of Joe Tripodi. Tripodi retired as the chain’s CMO last month. Subway worked with Ampersand and Mader in 2014 and 2015 on its strategic planning and transformation effort, Ad Age reported. Tripodi joined the world’s largest restaurant chain in late 2015 after leading the marketing efforts at Coca-Cola. He replaced Tony Pace and guided Subway through a tumultuous time. It was soon after the death of co-founder Fred DeLuca and just as Subway was looking to separate itself from former spokesman Jared Fogle, who pled guilt to possessing child pornography and for paying for sex with minors. He’s serving a 15-year, 8-month sentence. In an interview with Marketing Week, Tripoldi said, “This was one of the most challenging jobs I've ever had because it was a privately held company that had lived in a little bit of isolation for many years, so I had to drive some significant transformation.” Tripoldi’s career spanned 40 years, including stops at Mastercard and Seagrams. He started at IBM in 1977 and was CMO at Allstate and Bank of New York as well. “My big thing was trying to install an infrastructure in the company to help them be successful long-term,” he added in the article. “So getting them to understand the distinction between what a corporate group does, what regions do and what business units do and ultimately staffing for that. We added quite a few people while I was there and I think my legacy will be the quality of the good people that we were able to bring in.” Subway is also searching for a permanent CEO following the June retirement of Suzanne Greco. Trevor Haynes has held the interim role since.

Torchy’s Tacos Hires Two New C-Suite Executives

January 14, 2019

Taco chain recruits Scott Hudler as chief marketing officer and Elizabeth Baxter as chief people officer

Torchy’s Tacos today announced the hiring of two new members of the its leadership team, Scott Hudler as chief marketing officer and Elizabeth Baxter as chief people officer. These new hires signify a phase of significant growth for Torchy’s Tacos in which the brand is investing in executive leadership with the expertise to expand the beloved Austin-based brands presence in both new and existing markets and bring Damn Good tacos, queso and more to fans far and wide. “I’m very excited to have Scott and Elizabeth as part of the leadership team to help us write the next chapter of growth for this amazing brand,” said G.J. Hart, CEO of Torchy’s Tacos. “Scott and Elizabeth bring the right blend of large company experience and entrepreneurial spirit that will help drive the brand through its next phase of growth.” Hudler joins Torchy’s after serving as senior vice president and chief marketing officer at DICK’S Sporting Goods. Prior to his tenure at DICK’S, Hudler was senior vice president and chief digital officer at Dunkin’ Brands, where he spent over a decade in marketing leadership positions focused on brand strategy, advertising, media, digital marketing and product innovation for the Dunkin’ Donuts brand on a global basis. He previously held several positions at Mars Snackfood including Brand Manager - Snickers. Hudler earned a bachelor’s degree in the fine arts from Valdosta State University. Joining the Torchy’s team in the newly formed role of chief people officer, Baxter will oversee the People, Talent and Training departments. Baxter joins Torchy’s after spending over seven years in multiple HR roles at Walmart, most recently as senior director, performance management for the enterprise. Baxter’s experience gives her expertise in the selection, training, development and retention of a workforce that is ever growing and changing in the fast-paced restaurant environment. Baxter earned a bachelor’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Wichita State University. Founded in a food truck in Austin in 2006, the Torchy’s Tacos brand now has more than 60 locations across Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado. Over the next few years, Torchy’s Tacos plans to grow its loyal fan base as it enters new markets and continue to serve Taco Junkies in existing locations by delivering Damn Good tacos paired with an edgy, unconventional dining experience.

Luis Ruvalcaba Jr. Named Chief Operating Officer at On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina

January 14, 2019

Industry Veteran Brings 25+ Years of Expertise and Results-Focused Leadership to Popular Mexican Restaurant Chain

Stu Levy Named Executive Vice President, Supply Chain for Domino's

January 11, 2019

Domino's Pizza (NYSE: DPZ) has hired Stu Levy as its Executive Vice President of Supply Chain. Levy will report to Chief Executive Officer Richard Allison and will join the company effective Jan. 21. Levy was most recently Executive Vice President, Chief Transformation Officer for Republic Services, Inc., a leading provider of non-hazardous solid waste collection, transfer, disposal, recycling and energy services serving more than 14 million customers nationwide. Prior to joining Republic, Levy spent 13 years with Bain & Company, and served as a partner from 2008-2014, where he advised clients on strategy, marketing, organization, operations, technology, and mergers and acquisitions. "Stu has a proven track record of successfully leading organizations through complex change programs and has a recognized ability to develop and execute practical strategies to drive bottom-line results," said Allison. "He's going to be a terrific addition to our experienced leadership team." Prior to Bain & Company, Levy had leadership roles at McMaster-Carr Supply Company, Utility Management Services Group and Andersen Consulting. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and a Master of Business Administration degree from Duke University. Domino's Supply Chain division operates 23 fresh dough manufacturing and food distribution centers across the United States and Canada; one equipment and supply facility; one vegetable processing plant; and one facility that makes the company's thin crust product.

Tom’s Urban Adds Three Key Roles to Support Company's Growth Plans

January, 10 2019

The Company appointed Jane Crouse to Director of Training and Development, Lori Belloir to Director of Design and Communication, and Joanna Sanchez to Vice President of National Event Sales. All three positions will report to Shannon McNiel, President and Chief Operating Officer.

Tom's Urban today announced it has strengthened its leadership team by adding three key roles to help catalyze the brand's growth plan. The Company appointed Jane Crouse to Director of Training and Development, Lori Belloir to Director of Design and Communication, and Joanna Sanchez to Vice President of National Event Sales. All three positions will report to Shannon McNiel, President and Chief Operating Officer. As Director of Training and Development, Jane Crouse will play a critical and strategic role, developing a new store toolkit to support the Company’s future growth plans. Crouse will spearhead new hires and training at opening locations, a crucial role to get each humming and operating efficiently as quickly as possible. She is joining Tom’s Urban from Texas Roadhouse, the western themed steak house. As a veteran in the service and fast casual industry with extensive operational experience, Crouse won the brand’s Service Manager and Kitchen Manager of the Year awards in consecutive years. Most recently, Crouse held the position of Corporate Training and Development Coach at Texas Roadhouse, supporting 160 locations. Lori Belloir is joining as Director of Design and Communication. In her role, Belloir will be responsible for all internal and external communication with the company. Belloir will develop and manage all aspects of the Tom’s Urban brand design and creative outputs and will play an integral role in publicizing Tom’s Urban’s new interactive entertainment platforms. With over 20 years of experience in sales and hospitality, Tom’s Urban’s new Vice President of National Events Sales, Joanna Sanchez, will be responsible for developing and implementing the company’s event sales programs at all current and future locations. Tom’s Urban is an industry leader in creating standalone events and experiences for its customers and Sanchez has been instrumental in strengthening the sales programs in existing locations while continue to make the Company’s L.A. LIVE location an industry leader in the private event category. “We are pleased to have these three exceptional leaders joining our Tom’s Urban team as we continue to grow and enhance our brand,” says Shannon McNiel, President and COO of Tom’s Urban. “Tom’s Urban has a truly unique edge in today’s eater-tainment space offering our guests a memorable experience with our innovative menu, extensive drink offerings and immersive entertainment options. Joanna, Jane, and Lori will play a vital role in strengthening our team to help us achieve our short- and long-term strategic growth objectives.” Tom’s Urban is owned by Black Shamrock Partners, formerly Consumer Concept Group, a Denver-based investment and operating company, focused on launching, operating and investing in Experience Based Lifestyle Economy brands in the consumer, lifestyle and event sectors. Tom’s Urban has locations currently at LA LIVE in Los Angeles, Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, NYNY Hotel in Las Vegas, Ilani Casino in Portland and Denver International Airport.

Mike Muldoon named President and COO of City Barbeque

Industry veteran joins c-suite of fast-growing barbeque restaurant; founder Rick Malir remains CEO January 9, 2019 COLUMBUS, Ohio—City Barbeque is pleased to welcome Mike Muldoon to its leadership team effective January 2019. As the company’s new President and Chief Operating Officer, Muldoon will help lead the popular barbeque restaurant during a time of accelerated nationwide growth. Muldoon brings to City Barbeque more than 25 years of experience in c-suite restaurant management. In roles ranging from executive leadership to operations management and human resources, Mike has developed and implemented strategic plans, increased sales, and attracted and retained top talent for restaurants worldwide, both new concepts and brand expansions. “We really took our time on an extensive national search to find just the right COO,” said City Barbeque founder and CEO Rick Malir. “Mike’s experience in successfully scaling brands on a national level makes him the perfect choice for City Barbeque. I’m excited to see how Mike will help us build upon our foundation and culture, and the whole team is looking forward to having him on board as President and COO.” “I am thrilled to be joining City Barbeque,” said Muldoon. “Rick Malir and the entire City Barbeque team have done a tremendous job building a unique brand and culture. City Barbeque has built a best-in-class reputation for producing competition-quality barbeque as well as providing an outstanding work experience for its team members. Rick and I share the belief that a great guest experience begins with a great team member experience. I am honored to be able to join this team and take part in the expansion of this exciting brand.” About City Barbeque At City Barbeque, folks wake up early to make the city’s best barbeque: every day, at every restaurant, teammates slow-smoke award-winning barbeque and craft homemade sides and desserts. City Barbeque also caters incredible events, providing personalized, friendly, and affordable service for events large or small, formal or laid-back. The company is devoted to supporting its teammates and the communities it serves and prioritizes giving back to local charities and non-profits. City Barbeque teammates are dedicated to providing competition-quality barbeque and genuine backyard hospitality; to improving themselves and their processes a little every day; and to staying true to their purpose: to serve and create happiness. For more information, visit City Barbeque at, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Media Contact: Elizabeth Grunewald Marketing Project Specialist, City Barbeque

Dickey’s Welcomes New Vice President of Franchise Sales

January 9, 2019

Dallas, TX  (  Dickey’s Barbecue Pit announces the addition of new Vice President of Franchise Sales, John Geyerman, to the Dickey’s family. In his role at Dickey’s, he works with the franchise sales team to find the best partners to become Dickey’s franchisees and bring Legit. Texas. Barbecue. to their community. “The Dickey’s Barbecue Pit family is proud to have John join our team,” says Laura Rea Dickey, CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. “His experience with other large, well-known companies and his passion for our brand, is a great asset and we look forward to his continued success.” With extensive experience in retail operations and resource management, John worked with many companies such as Walmart, H-E-B, Schlotzsky’s and AngMar Companies. “I chose to join the Dickey’s Barbecue Pit family to use my knowledge of franchising and business development to help grow this legendary Texas brand,” says John. “I look forward to working with everyone on the Dickey’s team to further push expansion across the nation and internationally.” John graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington and is accredited by the International Franchising Association as a Certified Franchise Executive. He now lives in Mansfield, TX with his wife and two daughters. Find your nearest Dickey’s Barbecue Pit location here.  Follow Dickey’s on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Find more information about national and international franchise opportunities here. About Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., the nation’s largest barbecue chain was founded in 1941 by Travis Dickey. For the past 77 years, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit locations across the nation have served guests Legit. Texas. Barbecue.™ At Dickey’s, all meats are smoked low and slow on-site, every night in every location. The Dallas-based family-run barbecue franchise offers several slow-smoked meats and wholesome sides with ‘No B.S. (Bad Stuff)’ included. The fast-casual concept has expanded worldwide and includes more than 500 locations in 44 states. In 2016, Dickey’s won first place on Fast Casual’s “Top 100 Movers and Shakers” list and in 2018 Dickey’s Barbecue Pit made the Top 10. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has also been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine, Franchise Times and Nation’s Restaurant News. For more information, visit Media Contact: Callie Head

ARC Group Announces Promotion of Seenu Kasturi to CEO; Richard Akam to Serve as Chief Operating Officer

January 09, 2019 08:00 ET Source: ARC Group, Inc.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ARC Group, Inc. (OTC: ARCK), a restaurant holding company with a focus on diversified, full service restaurants and brands, announced today that in addition to his current position as Chairman and CFO of the Company, Mr. Seenu G. Kasturi has assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer with an expanded focus on the Company’s acquisition strategy.  Richard Akam will retain the role of Chief Operating Officer, responsible for driving organic growth and integration of the operating subsidiaries.

Mr. Kasturi stated, “ARC Group is in a period of unprecedented growth, both organic and through acquisitions.  In this new capacity as CEO, I look forward to accelerating our growth strategy through carefully selected and strategic acquisitions, where we can acquire undervalued assets at attractive multiples and benefit from the tremendous operating synergies.  We now have a strong, proven track record, and I look forward to replicating this success given the state of the market and robust opportunities we have identified.  We look forward to the continued leadership of Rick in his role as Chief Operating Officer.  Among his many career accomplishments, Rick served as CEO of Hooters, where he was largely responsible for the company’s rapid growth and success, along with other very significant achievements in senior management roles within the industry.  Rick brings a unique skill set that will be invaluable as we continue on our current trajectory, in order to ensure sustained, profitable growth.”

Mr. Akam continued, “Despite a challenging market within the casual dining segment, ARC Group has grown rapidly by expanding the customer demographic within our stores, elevating the dining experience, improving menus, enhancing service and implementing new technologies to streamline and automate processes.  Since 2013, we have increased average unit volume at Dick’s Wings & Grill, and have grown system wide sales from $10 million to $22 million in 2017.  With the addition of Fat Patty’s and the pending acquisition of Tilted Kilt, we are on track to generate pro forma annualized revenue in excess of $25 million.  Importantly, through strict financial discipline and by leveraging the operating synergies across our platform, we are well positioned to significantly enhance the profitability of our portfolio.”

Seenu G. Kasturi has served as ARC Group’s Chairman and CFO since January 2017, and served as the Company’s President from January 2017 until his appointment as its CEO. He has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Victory Holdings, Inc., an asset development firm focused primarily on the ownership and management of branded restaurants, since October 2009. He has also served as the President, Treasurer and Secretary of Acquisitions, LLC, a Louisiana limited liability company that owns and operates restaurants, since February 2013. From June 2005 to October 2009, Mr. Kasturi served as the President of K&L Investment Realty, an owner and manager of restaurants and real estate properties. Prior to that, he served as a certified financial planner, a registered broker and an investment advisor. Mr. Kasturi earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Andhra University in Visakhapatnam, India.

Richard Akam has served as ARC Group’s Secretary since July 2013 and as its Chief Operating Officer since January 2013. He served as the Company’s CEO from July 2013 until the recent appointment of Mr. Kasturi as CEO.  Prior to joining ARC Group, Mr. Akam served as the Chief Operating Officer of Ker’s Winghouse from September 2012 to January 2013. From May 2011 to July 2012, he served as the Chief Operating Officer of Twin Peaks Restaurants. Mr. Akam served as the Chief Operating Officer of First Watch Restaurants from February 2005 to December 2008 and as the Chief Operating Officer of Raving Brands from October 2003 to February 2005. Prior to that, he served in various roles with Hooters of America for approximately 20 years, including serving as its President and Chief Executive Officer from 1995 to 2003. Mr. Akam is also the founding member of Akam & Associates, LLC, a restaurant consulting firm that has provided consulting services to the restaurant industry since 2009. Mr. Akam earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Louisville.

About ARC Group, Inc.                                                         

ARC Group, Inc., headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, is a holding company with a focus on the quick serve restaurant industry.  ARC is the owner, operator and franchisor of Dick’s Wings & Grill®, a family-oriented restaurant chain with locations in Florida and Georgia.  Now in its 23rd year of operation, Dick’s Wings serves over 25,000 wings daily, and prides itself on its award-winning chicken wings, hog wings and duck wings spun in its signature sauces and seasonings.  ARC operates four company-owned restaurants, three company-owned concession stands, and has 19 franchise locations. ARC also owns the Fat Patty’s® franchise, with four locations in West Virginia and Kentucky.  Fat Patty’s offers a number of specialty burgers and sandwiches, wings, appetizers, salads, wraps, and steak and chicken dinners in a family friendly, casual dining environment.

Contact: Crescendo Communications, LLC Email: Tel: 212-671-1020

Chanticleer Holdings Names Patrick Harkleroad Chief Financial Officer

Jan 8, 2019

Troy Shadoin Appointed Chief Accounting Officer CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Chanticleer Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:BURG) (“Chanticleer” or the “Company”), owner, operator, and franchisor of multiple nationally recognized restaurant brands today announced it has named Patrick Harkleroad as Chief Financial Officer, in addition to naming Troy Shadoin as Chief Accounting Officer. The appointments complement the recent appointment of seasoned restaurant operator Fred Glick to the role of President. “I’m thrilled to join Chanticleer Holdings at such an opportune time in its evolution. Living in Charlotte, I’ve been a customer of their better burger brands for some time,” commented Harkleroad. “I believe Chanticleer has established a solid foundation to build upon and that the recent extension of the Chanticleer’s debt by our strategic investors positions us well for the future. I think my financial background, experience and relationships will dovetail perfectly with the skill sets of both Mike and Fred. I look forward to working with them to help shape the Company’s future while focusing on taking it to the next level and creating sustainable shareholder value.” Harkleroad comes to Chanticleer with over 15 years of CFO experience.  During that time, Harkleroad was a CFO consultant with the Business Enhancement Group of Carolina Financial Group (CFG), which focuses on providing financial and operational consulting to CFG’s portfolio and client companies.  Harkleroad served as the Chief Financial Officer for one of CFG’s portfolio companies, Trinity Frozen Foods, LLC. At Trinity, Harkleroad oversaw all financial and accounting functions, while also being integral in bringing operational best practices to the company. Harkleroad was hired to turn around cash flow as the company was in a challenging financial position.  Harkleroad created processes for inventory management, developed standard operating procedures (SOPs), integrated customer sales cycles, and worked with operations to streamline production. Harkleroad was responsible for managing all operating funds, closing the books on a monthly basis, reconciling accounts and presenting monthly financial reports in an accurate and timely manner to Trinity’s board.  Through his efforts, Trinity improved its cash flow position significantly, and was acquired by a private investor group within nine months of Harkleroad leading its turnaround. Prior to his CFO role at Trinity, Harkleroad served as Chief Financial Officer of Landmark Leisure Group (LLG) in Charlotte, NC, a development company with a national footprint that created, owned, and operated original restaurant and pub concepts, including Blackfinn Ameripub, Vida Mexican Kitchen, and Strike City Lanes.  LLG also partnered with real estate developers to create dining and entertainment destinations in the pub, restaurant and entertainment industries.  While at LLG, Harkleroad led the efforts in raising, securing, and restructuring approximately $40 million of capital from lenders, institutional mezzanine funds, and accredited investors to fund the company’s growth.  Harkleroad was also responsible for managing the strategic planning process, leading weekly and monthly financial reviews, and partnering with the COO to provide financial data, KPIs, and relevant metrics needed to manage the business, while also being a member of the real estate committee that developed the company’s real estate and site selection strategy. Harkleroad received his B.S. in Finance from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce and earned an MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen School of Management. Chanticleer is also pleased to announce the appointment of Troy Shadoin to the position of Chief Accounting Officer. A seasoned Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”), he brings to Chanticleer a strong track record in analyzing accounting issues, financial reporting, project planning, scheduling, presentations, internal control improvement, collaboration and team leadership, in addition to possessing a management style that is focused, analytical, and results-oriented. Prior to joining Chanticleer, Shadoin was Corporate Controller for Air T, Inc. (Nasdaq: AIRT) where he was responsible for financial reporting and accounting for the consolidated group of companies. Duties included preparation and review of quarterly and annual financial reports (Form 10-Q and 10-K), consolidation of 15+ subsidiaries and handling all complex accounting matters. Prior to his role at Air T, Inc., he was Senior Manager at Cherry Bekaert LLP. Shadoin received an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Masters of Accounting from North Carolina State University. He has been a CPA since 2006. Mike Pruitt, Chanticleer Chief Executive Officer stated, “I’m pleased to welcome both Patrick and Troy to the Chanticleer family. I believe their combined and comprehensive financial experience in the public markets will be of significant value to Chanticleer as we pursue our next stage of growth. I’m particularly pleased that we have now amassed a world class management team, while still maintaining consistent SG&A spend which remains at historic lows. I’m excited about our collective future and look forward to working with Patrick, Troy and our newly named President Fred Glick to the benefit of our shareholders.” About Chanticleer Holdings, Inc. Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, Chanticleer Holdings owns, operates, and franchises fast, casual, and full-service restaurant brands, including American Burger Company, BGR – Burgers Grilled Right, Little Big Burger, Just Fresh, and Hooters. For more information, please visit: Contact Information: Investor Relations Jason Assad 678-570-6791

High Bluff Capital Partners Names Tim Casey to Head Fast-Casual Brand Portfolio

Restaurant Industry Veteran to Serve as President and CEO of Rego Restaurant Group, Including Quiznos & Taco Del Mar

January 04, 2019 09:15 AM Eastern Standard Time

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Restaurant industry veteran Tim Casey has been named president and CEO of Rego Restaurant Group – the fast-casual restaurant platform backed by High Bluff Capital Partners that includes Quiznos and Taco Del Mar – as it eyes additional brand acquisition opportunities. He succeeds Gerry Lopez, who served as CEO and chairman on behalf of High Bluff to set up its two initial investments.

“I am excited to join this excellent team, as the firm looks to continue the revitalization of Quiznos and Taco Del Mar, increase its brand portfolio and extend this innovative platform.” With an extensive track record enhancing economic models for franchise brands, Casey previously served as president and CEO of PepperJax Grill and as president of QDOBA Mexican Grill. Earlier in his career, he was a vice president at Starbucks Coffee Company. “As we turn to the next phase of our long-term growth strategy, we are delighted that Tim has joined to accelerate the reinvigoration of these great brands and drive further value for our franchisees through innovative offerings and dining experiences that will support and grow our franchise base,” said Anand Gowda, executive chairman of Rego Restaurant Group and managing partner of High Bluff Capital Partners. “We also continue to see considerable potential to further expand our platform through the acquisition of additional brands that will benefit from our targeted investment approach and integration strategy.” “With significant experience transforming consumer brands, High Bluff has created an outstanding mid-market platform that’s focused on strategic acquisitions, effective integrations and enhancing franchisee economics to drive growth,” said Casey. “I am excited to join this excellent team, as the firm looks to continue the revitalization of Quiznos and Taco Del Mar, increase its brand portfolio and extend this innovative platform.” About High Bluff Capital Partners High Bluff Capital Partners is a San Diego-based private investment firm specializing in consumer-facing companies and brands with the potential for transformation and significant growth. The firm's team has extensive experience investing in, managing, leading and reinvigorating consumer businesses across the restaurant, entertainment, food, beverage and retail markets. More information can be found at

Contacts Hannah Arnold, LAK Public Relations, Inc. 212-329-1417,

Lynn Schweinfurth Named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Offier for Red Robin

January, 3 2019

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc., (NASDAQ: RRGB), today announced the appointment of Lynn Schweinfurth as executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective January 28, 2019. As the Company previously announced, Guy Constant, Red Robin's current executive vice president and chief financial officer, will move to lead Company and Franchise operations, development and facilities as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Ms. Schweinfurth will be responsible for leading all financial disciplines at Red Robin including accounting, strategic and financial planning, operations analysis, treasury and investor relations, as well as overseeing the Company's supply chain function. "Lynn's extensive strategic, finance and capital markets experience with recognized restaurant brands rounds out Red Robin's leadership ranks as we continue to build a best-in-class organization to drive growth in a rapidly evolving business. We are excited to have Lynn on the Red Robin team and look forward to her contributions in achieving our long-term vision," said Denny Marie Post, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc.'s chief executive officer. "We are also pleased that Lynn's arrival will allow us to complete the transition of Guy Constant from CFO to COO. Guy's focused leadership and clear operational vision will help ensure we serve the needs of Red Robin guests and build our traffic momentum." Ms. Schweinfurth brings to Red Robin more than 25 years of leadership experience in corporate finance, with over two decades of experience in the restaurant industry. Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Schweinfurth served as senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. where she has been since 2012. Prior to her time at Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., Ms. Schweinfurth held various senior finance leadership positions at global restaurant companies including Brinker International, Inc., Yum Brands, Inc. and PepsiCo, Inc. Ms. Schweinfurth earned her Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Master of Business Administration with concentrations in finance, accounting and marketing from the University of Chicago.

Dunkin’ Brands Announces New Executive Promotions and Appointments

December 18, 2018

Canton, MA  (  Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN), the parent company of Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins, today announced two executive promotions, naming Tom Manchester as Senior Vice President, Integrated Marketing, Dunkin’ U.S. and Jonathan Biggs as Vice President, Operations, Baskin-Robbins U.S. & Canada. The company also announced the appointment of Rick Gestring as Vice President, Operating Systems and Restaurant Experience, Dunkin’. In his new role, Mr. Manchester will have responsibility for Culinary Innovation, Consumer Insights, Brand Marketing and Field Marketing. He will continue to report directly to Tony Weisman, Chief Marketing Officer, Dunkin’ U.S. Over his 17-year career at Dunkin’, Mr. Manchester has led the brand’s sports marketing initiatives and developed its sports strategy built on engaging storytelling and innovative partnerships. He directed Dunkin’s sponsorships of the NHL, NWHL and U.S Women’s National Hockey Team, while two marketing campaigns featuring the brand’s professional athlete partners earned three Clio Awards for creative excellence. Prior to joining Dunkin’, Mr. Manchester held management positions at both The Gillette Company and Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. In his new role, Mr. Biggs assumes operational responsibility for more than 2,600 Baskin-Robbins shops in the U.S. & Canada. He will report to Jason Maceda, Senior Vice President, Baskin-Robbins U.S. & Canada. Mr. Biggs joined Dunkin’ Brands in 2008 and has assumed increasing responsibility as a leader on the Dunkin’ U.S. Operations team, from opening the Phoenix market to helping direct the rollout of Dunkin’s next generation restaurant experience. Over the past 10 years, his roles have included field operations and new market entry for western expansion, and leading brand initiatives across technology, product and equipment platforms. Prior to Dunkin’ Brands, Biggs worked at Southern Company as a project engineer, managing teams and large-scale projects within the energy sector. As Vice President, Operating Systems and Restaurant Experience for Dunkin’, Mr. Gestring will lead, manage and support the integration of improved and enhanced restaurant level execution and guest satisfaction. He will have responsibility for developing, implementing, managing and continuously improving the restaurant management systems, equipment, procedures and tools to enable Dunkin’s franchisees to achieve and maintain restaurant excellence. He will report to Dunkin’ Brands’ Chief Operating Officer, Scott Murphy. Mr. Gestring joins Dunkin’ after nearly a decade in multiple roles at Arby’s Restaurant Group, most recently as Vice President, Restaurant Experience, with responsibility for ensuring the integrity of the Arby’s brand in all aspects of the guest experience in 3,340 restaurants. His background also includes leadership positions at Peet’s Coffee, Aramark, Starbucks, Don Pablo’s, and Taco Bell. To learn more about Dunkin’, visit or subscribe to the Dunkin’ blog to receive notifications at 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. Media Contact: Michelle King Dunkin’ Brands

Huey Magoo’s Chicken Tenders Announce Michael Sutter As New Chief Operating Officer

December 18, 2018

The Fast-Growing, Orlando-Based Eatery Continues to Grow Its Dynamic Leadership Team by Promoting Executive VP of Operations and Training Mike Sutter To COO Orlando, FL  (  Huey Magoo’s Chicken Tenders leadership team is proud to announce its promotion of Michael Sutter from Executive Vice-President of Operations and Training to Chief Operating Officer.  Sutter brings over 25 years of leadership experience in managing and directing restaurant professionals, including an 11-year career with Wingstop Restaurants as the Director of Training and on to their VP of Training overseeing Wingstop’s national, international and digital training teams and their Field Alignment Managers in charge of quarterly QSCs for all 800 Wingstop locations. “It gives me great pleasure to announce Michael’s promotion to COO,” says President and CEO Andy Howard.  “Michael has made an enormous contribution to the success we’ve had at Huey Magoo’s, and he will continue to lead the company overseeing the Operations and Training areas and serving as an equity partner and board member.  In addition, with Michael’s unique talents and experience, he will also be involved in the strategic planning and positioning in all areas of the company.” Huey Magoo’s currently operates successful restaurants throughout Central Florida in Altamonte Springs, Oviedo, Winter Springs, Lake Mary, Orlando (Dr. Phillips, Millenia) and the UCF Student Union.  The rapidly expanding brand also continues to commence franchise sales throughout the city, state and country, with additional new locations to open in Central Florida, Daytona Beach, South Florida, Atlanta and more yet to be announced cities in 2019. For more information about Huey Magoo’s, visit  For franchise information, contact Andy Howard at 214-293-1564 or About Huey Magoo’s Huey Magoo’s was founded in 2004 by Matt Armstrong and Thad Hudgens, two southern boys with a passion for quality chicken and a penchant for serving others.  Voted “Best Fried Chicken” and “Best of the Best Chicken Tenders”, Huey Magoo’s is rapidly expanding throughout the Southeast with multiple locations in the Greater Orlando area and coming soon to Daytona Beach, South Florida and Atlanta.  Huey Magoo’s prides itself on providing fresh and tasty tenders in a clean, family-friendly environment, while showing their love for people.  Huey Magoo’s delivers delicious, fresh, cooked-to-order chicken tenders, and they do it to perfection.  Huey Magoo’s also gives back a portion of profits to not-for-profit organizations and community groups.  Committed to building a culture of excellence in service and food quality by serving only premium hand-breaded or grilled chicken tenders dipped or “sauced” in uniquely flavorful signature sauces, Huey Magoo’s attracts a cult-like following of Millennials, families and neighboring businesses desiring quality, delicious food at reasonable prices. Contact: Ilene Lieber Passion PR Consulting 321-277-7812

Barry McGowan Named Chief Executive Officer of Fogo de Chão

Larry Johnson to Retire as CEO and Become Chairman of the Board; Barry McGowan Named Chief Executive Officer

December 18, 2018 12:00 ET

DALLAS, Dec. 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fogo de Chão, Inc. (“Fogo” or the “Company”) today announced that Larry Johnson will retire from the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on December 31, 2018, after 11 years as the Company’s CEO.  Johnson will become Chairman of the Board of Directors on that day.  Concurrently, Fogo’s current President, Barry McGowan, will become Chief Executive Officer and will join the Board of Directors. Under Johnson’s leadership from 2007 through 2018the Company achieved outstanding performance and proven global portability, growing from 11 locations in the United States and Brazil to 51 locations worldwide, and increasing revenue by a factor of two and one half times, from $132 million to more than $330 million.  Johnson was also integral in leading the Company through its successful initial public offering in 2015 and subsequent “go-private” transaction earlier this year. “Larry Johnson is an exceptional leader who has guided Fogo through extraordinary growth from a local Brazilian steakhouse to a world renowned restaurant brand,” said Eytan Tigay, Board Director and Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Rhône Capital, whose affiliated funds acquired Fogo in 2018.  “In that time, he also developed the foundation for long-term success, building an enduring brand and an outstanding leadership team that is poised to continue delivering superior performance.  On behalf of the Board of Directors and everyone at Fogo, we want to thank Larry for his leadership and look forward to his continued contributions as Chairman.” Johnson commented: “It has been my privilege and honor to be a part of the Fogo family for the past 11 years.  The time is right to pass the reins to Barry to continue to execute our shared strategic vision for this tremendous brand.  Barry’s vast operating experience and deep understanding of Fogo and its people make him the ideal choice to lead Fogo into its next phase of growth.” “I am very pleased and honored to assume this new role,” said McGowan.  “Fogo is a unique company unlike any other in the restaurant industry, and it has been my distinct pleasure these past five years to work alongside a high-performing team of people who care about delivering an authentic, Brazilian churrasco experience that makes Fogo what it is. I thank Larry for his leadership and our collaboration, and I am confident that we are going to build upon our existing accomplishments to further elevate this iconic brand.” About Fogo de Chão Fogo de Chão (fogo-dee-shown) is a leading Brazilian steakhouse, or churrascaria,  specializing in the centuries-old Southern Brazilian cooking technique of churrasco – the art of roasting high-quality cuts of meats over open flame, all of which are carved tableside by Brazilian-trained gaucho chefs. Founded in Southern Brazil in 1979, there are currently 51 locations throughout Brazil, the United States, Mexico, and the Middle East. Fogo’s distinctive and authentic Brazilian dining experience begins with the seasonal Market Table and Feijoada Bar, which includes seasonal salads, soup, fresh vegetables, imported charcuterie and more. The restaurant features a variety of simply seasoned meats that are fire-roasted by gaucho chefs, plus seafood, desserts, signature cocktails and an award-winning wine list. In addition to the full churrasco experience, Fogo offers its guests multiple ways to enjoy the experience at varying price points, including weekday lunch starting at $15, weekend Brazilian Brunch and a Bar Fogo menu that features smaller, sharable plates, Brazilian-inspired cocktails and happy hour. For an inside look into the history and heritage of the gaucho culture, visit, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Contacts:ICR for Fogo de Chã (646) 277-1200

CraftWorks Holdings Appoints Chief Experience Officer

December 18, 2018

Denver, CO  (  CraftWorks Holdings, a restaurant conglomerate with 390 locations across 40 states, has hired Josh Kern as Chief Experience Officer (CXO). In this position, Kern will be responsible for customer-centric strategies to help the brands deliver exceptional customer experience, including oversight for the brands’ strategy, marketing, brewery, culinary and digital efforts. Kern will report to Chief Executive Officer Hazem Ouf. Prior to joining CraftWorks Holdings, Kern served as Chief Marketing Officer for Cerca Trova Restaurant Concepts, the nation’s largest franchisees of Outback Steakhouse. As CXO for CraftWorks Holdings, he will oversee and unify superior guest service standards, customer insight and engagement for CraftWorks’ portfolio of brands, including Logan’s Roadhouse, Rock Bottom Restaurants Inc. and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group Inc. “Josh is a seasoned executive who creatively transforms information and data into breakthrough ideas that will strengthen growth across CraftWorks’ network of casual dining and brewery concepts,” said Hazem Ouf, Chairman and CEO of CraftWorks Holdings. “At CraftWorks, our commitment to innovation and quality is a priority across all of our brands. Josh is exactly the right leader to showcase that commitment and build our marketing efforts nationally. We’re pleased to welcome him to our executive team.” Kern brings more than 20 years of local, regional and national experience to his new role. His former positions have included the VP of marketing for Quiznos, Chief Marketing Officer for American Blue Holdings and Chief Marketing Officer for Consumer Capital Partners, the parent of Smashburger with more than 380 restaurant locations in 35 states and seven countries. “I have admired the collection of CraftWorks brands both as a consumer and a marketer over the years,” said Kern. “I’m excited to join CraftWorks Holdings during this pivotal time and to work with the leadership team to help reignite the brands and increase relevance with consumers.” For more information about CraftWorks Holdings, visit About CraftWorks Holdings CraftWorks Holdings is the nation’s leading and premier operator and franchisor of full-service dining restaurants, spanning a national footprint of over 390 restaurants and breweries in 40 states and the District of Columbia. The company’s diverse portfolio of restaurants brands includes Logan’s Roadhouse, Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, and a collection of restaurants-brewery brands, including Rock Bottom Restaurants & Breweries and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants. CraftWorks Holdings also operates a collection of specialty restaurant concepts including Chophouse, Big River Grill, BlueWater Grille, AIA Ale Works, Ragtime Tavern & Seafood Grill, Seven Bridges Grill & Brewery and Sing-Sing, a dueling pianos concept. Media Contact: Rachel Treadwell

Louis DiPietro Named Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

December, 17 2018

Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRGI), parent company of the Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana fast casual restaurant brands, announced the appointment of Louis DiPietro as the Company’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, effective December 17, 2018, replacing Maria Mayer, who has left the Company. Fiesta President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Stockinger said, “The leadership team and I are delighted to have Lou join FiestaHis background, experience and accomplishments, especially as the former Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Panera Bread Company, will be extremely valuable as we continue to implement our strategic growth plans. Lou has over a decade of relevant industry experience that I am confident will serve the company well as we set course for future growth and build long term shareholder value.” Mr. DiPietro brings with him 22 years of experience and expertise in the areas of Corporate Governance, SEC rules and regulations, contract negotiations, mergers, acquisitions, dispositions and restaurant refranchising. Most recently, Mr. DiPietro served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Panera Bread Company (“Panera”). During Mr. DiPietro’s 12-year career at Panera, he held several roles of increasing responsibility in the legal department. Prior to joining Panera, Mr. DiPietro held a variety of legal positions including General Counsel for Mainspring Communications, a publicly traded management consulting firm, until it was acquired by IBM. Mr. DiPietro earned his B.A. and J.D. from Boston College.

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