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Executive Movements - March 2021






Domino's® Names Frank Garrido EVP - U.S. Operations



Mar 15, 2021, 07:07 ET



ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Domino's Pizza Inc. (NYSE: DPZ), the largest pizza company in the world based on global retail sales, announced the promotion of Frank Garrido to executive vice president – U.S. operations and support, effective March 15, 2021.

Garrido replaces Tom Curtis, who is leaving to pursue another opportunity. Garrido will report to Russell Weiner, Domino's chief operating officer and president – Domino's U.S.


Domino's announced the promotion of Frank Garrido to executive vice president – U.S. operations and support.Tweet this

"We wish Tom the best of luck in his new role, as he served Domino's well for many years," said Weiner. "Moving forward, we are thrilled to have Frank join the company's executive leadership team. Frank has decades of operations experience with several well-known brands. He has been with Domino's for some time now and is ready to go."

Garrido most recently served as senior vice president overseeing Domino's nearly 400 company-owned stores. He joined Domino's in 2017 as a regional vice president, based in Atlanta. Prior to Domino's Garrido was vice president of operations for Focus Brands' McAlister's Deli, part of Focus Brands' more than 4,500 ice cream shops, bakeries, restaurants, and cafes worldwide. Garrido also served as executive vice president of operations, training and concept development for Edible Arrangements International.

Garrido holds a degree in hospitality management from Widener University.

About Domino's Pizza® Founded in 1960, Domino's Pizza is the largest pizza company in the world based on retail sales. It ranks among the world's top public restaurant brands with a global enterprise of more than 17,600 stores in over 90 markets. Domino's had global retail sales of more than $16.1 billion in 2020, with nearly $8.3 billion in the U.S. and more than $7.8 billion internationally. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Domino's had global retail sales of more than $5.5 billion, with over $2.7 billion in the U.S. and more than $2.8 billion internationally. Its system is comprised of independent franchise owners who accounted for 98% of Domino's stores as of the end of the fourth quarter of 2020. Emphasis on technology innovation helped Domino's achieve more than half of all global retail sales in 2020 from digital channels. In the U.S., Domino's generated more than 70% of sales in 2020 via digital channels and has developed several innovative ordering platforms, including those for Google Home, Facebook Messenger, Apple Watch, Amazon Echo, Twitter and more. In 2019, Domino's announced a partnership with Nuro to further its exploration and testing of autonomous pizza delivery. In mid-2020, Domino's launched a new way to order contactless carryout nationwide – via Domino's Carside Delivery™, which customers can choose when placing a prepaid online order.

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Burger King® Appoints New Chief Operating Officer



Mar 12, 2021, 07:30 ET



Industry Veteran Tom Curtis Joins Burger King Americas to Oversee Field Operations, Restaurant Development and Restaurant Operations

MIAMI, FL, March 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ - Burger King® announced today industry veteran Tom Curtis will be appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Burger King Americas, joining the leadership team to oversee field operations, restaurant development and restaurant operations.



Mr. Curtis joins Burger King from industry giant Domino's where he built an impressive 35-year career and most recently served as Executive Vice President, U.S. Operations and Support, overseeing both franchise and company-owned operations. Prior to that role he led U.S. company operations as Executive Vice President of Corporate Operations. Curtis will report to Christopher Finazzo, President of Burger King, Americas.


"We are excited to add another seasoned expert to our leadership team and for our entire system to benefit from his impressive experience and operational expertise," said Chris Finazzo. "Tom will be an important leader and asset in our journey to provide an exceptional guest experience at Burger King, including rapidly scaling our digital capabilities and offering a consistent and loved experience at our restaurants."

"I'm proud to join the iconic Burger King brand at a time when leadership is focused on building a world-class guest experience," said Tom Curtis. "After 35 years in the industry, it's exciting to start a new role with a loved global restaurant brand that is driving product innovation and digital leadership."

Mr. Curtis began his career in QSR in 1985 as a Domino's store manager. He later joined the brand as a franchisee in the New Haven, Connecticut area from 1987 until 2006. After franchising, Mr. Curtis joined Domino's corporate in 2006.

Tom Curtis will join the brand mid-May and will be based out of Miami HQ.

About BURGER KING®: Founded in 1954, the Burger King brand is the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world. The original Home of The Whopper®, the Burger King system operates more than 18,600 locations in more than 100 countries. Almost 100 percent of Burger King restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees, many of them family-owned operations that have been in business for decades. To learn more about the Burger King brand, please visit the Burger King brand website at www.bk.com or follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

View source version at Burger King


Ruby Tuesday Announces the Appointment of Two New Managers to Board


Classic American Restaurant Group, Ruby Tuesday, Adds to Board of Managers


March 12, 2021 11:45 AM Eastern Standard Time


MARYVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Ruby Tuesday announces the appointment of Mitch Lowe and Adam Brotman to its board of managers. Lowe and Brotman will join fellow Ruby Tuesday board members Ryan Carroll, Richard Miller and Shawn Lederman, the chief executive officer of Ruby Tuesday.

“We are pleased to welcome both Mitch and Adam to the Ruby Tuesday board,” said Shawn Lederman, the chief executive officer of Ruby Tuesday. “Both Mitch and Adam have deep experience at the intersection between restaurant operations, digital marketing and data analytics. We believe they will both be invaluable as we look to enhance the customer experience for our existing guests, as well as build a portfolio of virtual ‘delivery-only’ brands.”

Lowe is the former President of Sizzling Platter, one of the largest and fastest growing franchised restaurant companies in the United States, with over 500 units largely across Little Caesars, Dunkin Donuts and Wingstop concepts. Lowe functioned as the president from 2015 through 2020, with responsibility for the finance, legal, new restaurant development, M&A and human resource functions. Prior to being elevated to president, Lowe served as vice president of development and general counsel from 2006 through 2015. Prior to joining Sizzling Platter, Lowe began his career as an attorney at Morgan Lewis & Bockius. In addition to sitting on the Ruby Tuesday board, Lowe is a director at Wow Bao Holdings, a high-growth Asian cuisine fast casual restaurant operator, and a board observer at Sizzling Platter. He received an undergraduate degree from The University of San Diego and a JD from University of San Francisco School of Law.

Brotman is the chief executive officer of Brightloom, a technology company with a platform that enhances customer engagement and experiences for the restaurant industry. Prior to joining Brightloom in 2019, Brotman was the Co-CEO, president and chief experience officer at J. Crew, where he was responsible for launching their first loyalty program. Prior to that, Brotman spent a decade in various leadership roles at Starbucks, including executive vice president of Global Retail Operations as well as chief digital officer. A long-time technology innovator, Brotman was chief executive officer and co-founder of PlayNetwork, a provider of digital music and video services for restaurants and retailers worldwide, prior to joining Starbucks. In addition to sitting on the Ruby Tuesday board, Brotman is a board member at MOD Pizza, one of the fastest growing restaurant chains in the United States. He received an undergraduate degree from University of California, Las Angeles and a JD from the University of Washington School of Law.

About Ruby Tuesday Founded in 1972 in Knoxville, Tennessee, Ruby Tuesday, is dedicated to delighting guests with exceptional casual dining experiences that offer uncompromising quality paired with passionate service every time they visit. The company currently owns, operates and franchises casual dining restaurants in the United States, Guam, and five foreign countries under the Ruby Tuesday® brand. For more information, visit www.rubytuesday.com.

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Deval Patrick Joins Toast Board of Directors



March 10, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time


BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Toast, the fastest-growing restaurant management platform, today announced that Deval Patrick has been appointed to the company's board of directors, effective immediately.

Mr. Patrick, the first Black Governor of Massachusetts, served the Commonwealth for two terms from 2007 to 2015. During his tenure, Mr. Patrick helped revive the state’s economy through the expansion of affordable health care, initiatives aimed at promoting clean energy and biotechnology, and extensive investments in the state’s public education system. His public service dates back to 1994, when President Clinton appointed him to the nation’s top civil rights post, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. He was also a senior executive in two Fortune 50 companies and the founder and a managing director of the Double Impact Fund at Bain Capital, where he focused on mission-driven companies that delivered both strong financial returns and measurable positive social or environmental impact.

Chris Comparato, CEO of Toast, said: “We are honored to welcome former Governor Deval Patrick to the Toast Board of Directors. As a dedicated former public official, we look forward to leveraging his unique insights and perspectives on how Toast can bring meaningful change to the communities where we and our customers serve. Further, his deep understanding of the economy — combined with his years of experience leading top companies and investment firms — will play an integral role in strengthening our go-forward strategy as we continue to grow in evolving technology and restaurant industries. We could not be more thrilled to have him join our team.”

“Even before the current public health crisis, our economy was changing. I am proud to join a company which dedicated itself to lifting up the whole restaurant community — owners, servers, kitchen staff, suppliers — and making people’s lives better,” said Mr. Patrick. “I look forward to working alongside my fellow board members to help Toast power the success of restaurants of all sizes and support our critical local communities across the U.S.”

Currently, Mr. Patrick is a Senior Advisor at Bain Capital, and the Founder & Chairman of TogetherFUND, a political action committee launched to increase voter engagement among disenfranchised and marginalized voters. He also currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Twilio, Cerevel Therapeutics, Amwell, and Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. In addition to his other significant accomplishments, Mr. Patrick is a Rockefeller Fellow, a Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, and the author of two books, “A Reason to Believe: Lessons from an Improbable Life” and “Faith in the Dream: A Call to the Nation to Reclaim American Values.”

Mr. Patrick joins current Toast board members: Paul Bell, operating partner at Lead Edge Capital; Kent Bennett, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners; Susan Chapman-Hughes, Director of the J.M. Smucker Company; Mark Hawkins, President & CFO Emeritus Advisor at Salesforce; Steve Papa, founder and CEO of Endeca (sold to Oracle for $1B in 2011) and current founder and CEO of Parallel Wireless; and, David Yuan, General Partner at TCV.

Restaurant owners and operators can learn more about Toast and schedule a personalized demo here.

About Toast

Launched in 2013, Toast is democratizing technology for restaurants of all sizes. Built exclusively for restaurants and driven by a passion to enable their success, Toast connects employees, operations, and guests on an easy-to-use platform so restaurateurs can stay one step ahead of a rapidly evolving hospitality market. Tens of thousands of restaurants partner with Toast to increase revenue, streamline operations, retain great employees, and create raving fans. Toast was named to Fortune’s 2020 Best Workplaces in Technology, 2020 Forbes Fintech 50, 2020 Forbes Cloud 100, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of The Year® 2020 Listing - National Overall Winner, and the 2019 SXSW Interactive Innovation Finals. Learn more at www.toasttab.com.

View source version at Toast




The Wendy's Company Names Dr. Beverly Stallings-Johnson Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer



Mar 08, 2021, 09:00 ET



DUBLIN, Ohio, March 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Wendy's Company (Nasdaq: WEN) announced the appointment of Dr. Beverly Stallings-Johnson to the newly created position of Vice President, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer effective March 15, 2021. Beverly will lead the Company's efforts to advance and promote diversity, equity and inclusion across the Wendy's global system, including with employees, franchisees and suppliers.

Prior to joining Wendy's, Beverly served as Chief Diversity Officer for the City of Columbus, leading the City's Office of Diversity and Inclusion. In partnership with Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, she helped to advance the Equity Agenda to impact disparities across the nearly million residents of the City. She has been a resident of central Ohio for 15 years and brings to Wendy's a deep connection to the Company's hometown, as well as a national perspective on leading diversity, equity and inclusion efforts throughout the public and private sectors. Prior to her role with the City of Columbus, Beverly spent more than 25 years in roles of increasing responsibility with Xerox, culminating in her role as EEO and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Global Compliance & Policy Officer.

"Core to the Wendy's values is a commitment to Treat People with Respect and create a workplace and community that promotes our shared ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion," said President and CEO Todd Penegor. "Beverly will be a critical leader within the Wendy's System to help advance our journey as an employer of choice and community member."

"I am delighted to join Wendy's at this critical juncture in the organization's history," said Stallings-Johnson. "I welcome the opportunity to remain close to the Columbus community while also exploring how Wendy's can tap its global reach to promote welcoming and inclusive communities and workplaces."

Beverly received her B.A. in Marketing & Communications from the University of Richmond; an M.S. in Management from Marymount University; and a Ph.D. in Management & Organizational Development, Culture & Change Management from California Coast University.

About Wendy's Wendy's® was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas in Columbus, Ohio. Dave built his business on the premise, "Quality is our Recipe®," which remains the guidepost of the Wendy's system. Wendy's is best known for its made-to-order square hamburgers, using fresh, never frozen beef*, freshly-prepared salads, and other signature items like chili, baked potatoes and the Frosty® dessert. The Wendy's Company (Nasdaq: WEN) is committed to doing the right thing and making a positive difference in the lives of others. This is most visible through the Company's support of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® and its signature Wendy's Wonderful Kids® program, which seeks to find every child in the North American foster care system a loving, forever home. Today, Wendy's and its franchisees employ hundreds of thousands of people across more than 6,800 restaurants worldwide with a vision of becoming the world's most thriving and beloved restaurant brand. For details on franchising, connect with us at www.wendys.com/franchising. Visit www.wendys.com and www.squaredealblog.com for more information and connect with us on Twitter and Instagram using @wendys, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wendys.

View source version at Wendy's


TOMS King Announces Erin Hasselgren as COO; Top U.S. Burger King Franchisee Creates Role to Oversee Growing Organization

March 8, 2021


Chicago, IL  (RestaurantNews.com)  TOMS King, owner and operator of more than 130 BURGER KING® restaurants across Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia, announces the appointment of Mr. Erin Hasselgren as the firm’s Chief Operating Officer, effective today. Hasselgren is stepping into a new role, created to oversee the existing and growing portfolio of the company’s franchises.

Hasselgren joins the TOMS King executive committee following 20+ years of experience in chain restaurant management and operations. He will lead the field teams, inspiring franchisees to utilize innovative and cost-effective measures for optimizing performance. Responsibilities include managing the day-to-day planning, directing and overseeing all activities throughout the organization, and identifying the future needs to support expansion. Hasselgren will report directly to TOMS King Chief Executive Officer Matt Carpenter.

“We are thrilled to welcome Erin into the TOMS King family,” said Carpenter, “With more than 3,000 associates in five states, we are recognized as a leading franchisee in the BURGER KING® system. With his extensive background of successfully working with people, Erin is primed to spearhead our efforts, to elevate our successes, and advance our business.”

Hasselgren most recently served for three years as Director of Operations for Illinois-based Portillo’s Hot Dogs, where he was responsible for leading services and processes, as well as new restaurant growth, of units grossing $290 million in revenues. In his prior role as Regional Vice President for Cracker Barrel, Hasselgren led the Atlantic Region overseeing a large span of restaurants from Virginia to Maine with more than 7,500 employees and $340 million in annual revenues. Hasselgren served for nearly 19 years with Dallas-based fast-casual brand, Corner Bakery, where his career grew to Regional Vice President of Operations, developing district managers, general managers, and thousands of associates. He launched his career in the business with tenures at Aramark and Brinker International.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism, Hasselgren lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with his wife Lynette and three children. In his free time, Hasselgren enjoys outdoor activities, restaurant dining, and traveling as much as possible.

“I have admired TOMS King’s success in the QSR segment — its structured operating systems, and impressive results,” said Hasselgren. “I look forward to continuing to elevate the company and boosting our franchisees’ and teams’ results to new levels.

“Erin’s appointment comes at an exciting time for us,” adds Kim Ervin, TOMS King’s Chief People Officer. “His role is greatly beneficial as we continue to increase functionality and maintain sustainable development. His extensive roots in the business and astute expertise is a true asset for our company.”

About TOMS King, LLC:

TOMS King, based in the Chicago suburb of Palatine, is one of the largest Burger King franchisees with more than 130 locations in five states. Consistently recognized as one of the top franchisees in both financial performance and operating metrics, the TOMS King team continues to build the business organically and invest in the development of new Burger King restaurants. www.tomsking.com.

View source version at TOMS King


Noodles & Company Builds Senior Leadership Team to Support Accelerated Growth Objectives

Promotions Highlight Company’s Commitment to People, Operational Excellence and Technological Innovation


March 03, 2021 16:05 ET

BROOMFIELD, Colo., March 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Noodles & Company (NASDAQ: NDLS) has promoted three members of its leadership team into expanded roles to drive the Company’s accelerated growth objectives, including system-wide unit growth of at least 7% annually beginning in 2022, average unit volumes of $1.45 million by 2024, and restaurant contribution margin of 20% by 2024.

Dave Boennighausen, Chief Executive Officer at Noodles & Company, noted: “Our people-oriented strategy, continued operational excellence, and guest focused technological innovation is foundational to achieving our accelerated growth objectives. With these promotions, coupled with our bench strength in marketing and finance, we have built one of the best executive teams in the industry. The Noodles leadership team is strong, aligned and laser-focused on achieving our vision.”

Brad West has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer. In September 2017, Brad joined Noodles as Executive Vice President of Operations with more than 40 years of operations experience. In his new role as Chief Operating Officer, Brad will continue to oversee the Company’s operations and training organization, as well as broaden his purview to oversee the franchise operations support program and the rollout of new kitchen upgrades. His role will be integral to the success of new unit growth, an area where he has already supported outstanding results with new restaurants being the best performing class in the Company’s history. Brad’s prior experience includes serving as Vice President of Operations at Smoothie King Franchisees, Inc.

Sue Petersen has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Inclusion, Diversity and People. Sue joined Noodles in February of 2015 as vice president of human resources, and in her expanded role, she will continue to spearhead the Company’s inclusion and diversity initiatives, as well as its total rewards, recruitment, and human resources functions. Sue’s consistent focus on creating a welcoming and supportive environment has improved manager tenure and turnover, outperforming industry benchmarks. Sue’s experience includes over 20 years of human resource and operational leadership roles at brands such as Chipotle, Walgreens and Rock Bottom Restaurants.

Corey Kline has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Technology.   Corey joined Noodles & Company in September of 2011 and has held leadership roles in the IT function, most recently as Vice President of Information Technology since July of 2016. Corey’s forward-looking approach to technology and governance has been instrumental in building the Company’s robust digital consumer platform as well as spearheading the Company’s efforts around a strong data security & compliance ecosystem.

About Noodles & Company Since 1995, Noodles & Company has been serving noodles your way, with noodles and flavors that you know and love to new ones you're about to discover. From indulgent Wisconsin Mac & Cheese to better-for-you Zoodles, Cauliflower Noodles and Cauliflower Gnocchi, the Company serves a world of flavor in every bowl. Made up of more than 450 restaurants and 8,000 passionate team members, Noodles was named one of the Best Places to Work by the Denver Business Journal for its unique culture built on the value of "Loving Life," which begins by nourishing and inspiring every team member and guest who walks through the door. To learn more or find the location nearest you, visit www.noodles.com.

View source version at Noodles & Company


BurgerFi Announces Appointment of Michael Rabinovitch to Chief Financial Officer

March 3, 2021


Rabinovitch To Officially Begin as CFO on April 1st, 2021

Palm Beach, FL  (RestaurantNews.com)  BurgerFi International Inc. (Nasdaq: BFI, BFIIW), one of the nation’s fastest-growing premium fast-casual concepts and QSR’s 2020 Breakout Brand of the Year known for its better burgers, has hired Michael Rabinovitch as Chief Financial Officer. Rabinovitch holds over 25 years of extensive financial leadership skills from best-in-class publicly held retail and distribution companies, high growth retail concepts, extensive international experience and has completed and integrated over 25 acquisitions valued at over $2 billion dollars during his career.

“As BurgerFi continues to accelerate its growth strategy, Michael’s extensive experience in acquisitions, business processes and managing the strong financial structure and growth of large public companies adds significant value to our organization,” said Ophir Sternberg, Executive Chairman of BurgerFi. “We are pleased to welcome Michael to BurgerFi and look forward to his leadership.”

Rabinovitch joins BurgerFi after serving as Chief Accounting Officer at Tech Data Corporation (formerly Nasdaq: TECD), a $38 billion dollar, Fortune 100 global technology distributor. He also has held the positions of Chief Accounting Officer and Vice President of Finance for North America at Office Depot Inc. (Nasdaq: ODP) where he was responsible for all aspects of accounting policy and process including Sarbanes Oxley compliance.

“Michael will develop trusted relationships with key stakeholders and teams while building confidence and transparency.  I know he understands key metrics for value creation and will collaborate with our leadership  to deliver outstanding results,” said Julio Ramirez, CEO of BurgerFi. “I am thrilled to have him as part of my talented executive team.”

For nearly a decade, Rabinovitch served as Chief Financial Officer of Mayors Jewelers, Birks Group Inc., a (NYSEAMERICAN: BGI), with 77 locations across the United States and Canada. He was also the Vice President of Finance at Claire’s Stores, Inc. during their years of rapid expansion and contributed to their growth from 1,200 to over 3,000 locations in 10 countries during his six year tenure with the brand. Rabinovitch began his career with Price Waterhouse (now PwC). He is a licensed certified public accountant (inactive). Rabinovitch has both Bachelor of Science degrees in accounting and finance from Florida State University and is an advisory board member of the School of Accounting at both Florida State University and University of South Florida.

“I am excited to be joining BurgerFi and look forward to adding value to the company as they execute on their growth strategy,” said newly appointed CFO, Michael Rabinovitch. “I am looking forward to supporting the leadership team in implementing strategies that will drive profitability of the organization and shareholder value.”

Rabinovitch replaces Bryan McGuire, Chief Financial Officer, effective April 1st, 2021. During his time at BurgerFi, McGuire has helped the company maintain high standards of financial compliance and aided the company’s process to go public through a business combination via SPAC merger. McGuire will remain with BurgerFi to lead the company’s quarter-close process and financial filings, working with Rabinovitch to ensure a seamless transition.

About BurgerFi International (Nasdaq: BFI, BFIIW)

Established in 2011, BurgerFi is among the nation’s fastest-growing better burger concepts with approximately 125 BurgerFi restaurants domestically and internationally. The concept is chef-founded and is committed to serving fresh food of transparent quality. BurgerFi uses 100% American angus beef with no steroids, antibiotics, growth hormones, chemicals or additives. BurgerFi’s menu also includes high quality wagyu beef, antibiotic and cage-free chicken offerings, fresh, hand-cut sides and custard shakes and concretes. BurgerFi was named QSR Magazine’s Breakout Brand of 2020, placed in the top 10 on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers & Shakers list in 2020, was named “Best Burger Joint” by Consumer Reports and fellow public interest organizations in the 2019 Chain Reaction Study, listed as a “Top Restaurant Brand to Watch” by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2019, included in Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies List, and ranked on Entrepreneur’s 2017 Franchise 500. To learn more about BurgerFi or to find a full list of locations, please visit www.burgerfi.com. Download the BurgerFi App on iOS or Android devices for rewards and  ‘Like’ BurgerFi on Facebook or follow @BurgerFi on Instagram and Twitter.  BurgerFi® is a Registered Trademark of BurgerFi IP, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BurgerFi.

View source version at BurgerFi



Toast Appoints Anisha Vaswani as Chief Information Officer



March 03, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time


BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Toast, the fastest-growing restaurant management platform, today announced the appointment of Anisha Vaswani to the newly created position of Chief Information Officer, effective immediately. Reporting directly to Aman Narang, president and co-founder of Toast, Vaswani will be tasked with leading Toast’s information technology organization and will be responsible for supporting Toast’s operations through the delivery of innovative technology capabilities, systems, and tools that align with Toast’s corporate strategy.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Anisha as Toast’s first CIO. The creation of this role underscores Toast’s ongoing commitment and dedication to driving innovative technology solutions internally so that we are able to operate productively and efficiently as we service the evolving needs of our valued restaurant customers,” said Aman Narang, president and co-founder of Toast. “I look forward to leveraging Anisha’s decades of extensive operational and IT experience, but importantly also her strategic experience in customer-facing capacities. I am confident that her deep knowledge of the technology industry and track record in scaling high-growth companies will be invaluable for Toast as well as our customers as we further our mission to empower the restaurant community to delight guests, do what they love, and thrive.”

Vaswani joins Toast with more than 20 years of experience in the IT space, having most recently served as the Chief Information Officer at Box. In this capacity she was responsible for global IT including enterprise applications, IT operations, end user services, and project management office (PMO). Her team led technology selection, solutions architecture, analysis, design, development, quality assurance, and project management of systems.

Vaswani noted, “I am delighted and honored to join Toast as its first CIO at such an exciting time in the company’s history. I look forward to supporting Toast in its next phase of growth and leading a team of talented and dedicated IT professionals focused on creating world-class business systems, centralized operations, and IT operations programming.”

Prior to Box, Vaswani held IT management roles at VMware, Agilent Technologies, and Hewlett-Packard. Vaswani received a bachelor's degree from San Jose State University.

Restaurant owners and operators can learn more about Toast and schedule a personalized demo here.

About Toast Launched in 2013, Toast is democratizing technology for restaurants of all sizes. Built exclusively for restaurants and driven by a passion to enable their success, Toast connects employees, operations, and guests on an easy-to-use platform so restaurateurs can stay one step ahead of a rapidly evolving hospitality market. Tens of thousands of restaurants partner with Toast to increase revenue, streamline operations, retain great employees, and create raving fans. Toast was named to Fortune’s 2020 Best Workplaces in Technology, 2020 Forbes Fintech 50, 2020 Forbes Cloud 100, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 Listing - National Overall Winner, and the 2019 SXSW Interactive Innovation Finals. Learn more at www.toasttab.com.

View source version at Toast




Martha Stewart Joins BurgerFi's Board of Directors

Stewart to Chair Product & Innovation Committee



Mar 01, 2021, 11:17 ET



PALM BEACH, Fla., March 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- BurgerFi International Inc. (Nasdaq: BFI, BFIIW), one of the nation's fastest-growing premium fast-casual concepts and QSR's 2020 Breakout Brand of the Year, known for its hand-crafted better burgers, has named food entrepreneur and cultural icon, Martha Stewart to its Board of Directors as Chair of the Product & Innovation Committee. Stewart brings a lifetime of experience in successfully launching countless brands, culinary products and recipes. Stewart is the Founder of the first-ever multi-channel lifestyle company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, an entrepreneur, bestselling author of 98 to-date lifestyle and recipe books, and an Emmy award-winning (18 Emmys to date) and James Beard award-winning television show host.

"BurgerFi is honored to welcome Martha Stewart to our Board of Directors. Highly regarded as the 'original influencer,' her lifetime of successful achievements and knowledge of marketing, product innovation and food expertise are second to none. As a pioneer in the world of culinary consumerism, Martha stands out as a leader and has the unique ability to connect with an audience. We look forward to her contributions and creative ideas that will enhance the BurgerFi business and brand," said Ophir Sternberg, Executive Chairman of BurgerFi.



Today, Stewart reaches more than 100 million devoted fans on a monthly basis, holds a 96% brand awareness among women in the US and 70% of US millennials say they have tried a Martha Stewart recipe – her reach is endless and America's appetite for her is still insatiable year after year.

"BurgerFi's chef-driven concept attracted me to the brand. From their hand-crafted menu items and their commitment to the NAE program – No Antibiotics Ever, BurgerFi's mission to redefine the way the world eats burgers is powerful and showcases their efforts to excel with their products and innovation. I am looking forward to being a part of the BurgerFi family and watching the brand amass its true potential," said Martha Stewart, newly appointed BurgerFi Board Chair of the Product & Innovation Committee. "The BurgerFi VegeFi burger is made with 15 of the freshest vegetables and ingredients and made right in their newly expanded commissary in Palm Beach. It's as if the vegetables were picked right from my own garden!"

BurgerFi uses 100% American angus beef with no steroids, antibiotics, growth hormones, chemicals or additives. BurgerFi's menu also includes high-quality wagyu beef, antibiotic and cage-free chicken offerings, fresh, hand-cut sides and custard shakes and concretes.

"BurgerFi is a powerful better burger concept and when you combine forces with a powerhouse like Martha Stewart, who can infuse her talent, experience and knowledge with a passion and excitement for the brand, it's a recipe for even greater success," said Julio Ramirez, CEO of BurgerFi. "It's a great honor to welcome Martha Stewart to the BurgerFi Board of Directors. With chef-inspired products, Martha's appointment to the board seemed natural given her cornucopia of achievements. Her contributions as Chair of the Product & Innovation Committee collaborating with our very own Chef Paul Griffin will undoubtedly boost the brand and create strong value for the company."

Since founding her company, Stewart has been named one of the "50 Most Powerful Women" by Fortune magazine five times. She was included among the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds in the 2018 Forbes Magazine Centennial issue and Adweek magazine named her their "Media Visionary" of the year in their annual Publishing Hot List in 2017. She was also included among the 100 most influential men and women of the year in the 2005 TIME magazine's annual "TIME 100" list and was also named one of "America's 25 Most Influential People" by TIME magazine in 1996. She has won numerous James Beard Foundation Awards for the Best National Cooking Segments.

Stewart joins BurgerFi's Board of Directors whose robust leadership includes notables such as Steven Berrard, Co-Founder of AutoNation and Executive Chairman Ophir Sternberg, CEO of Lionheart Capital. Stewart also currently sits on the board of publicly traded companies, AppHarvest and Sequential Brands Group.

About BurgerFi International (Nasdaq: BFI, BFIIW)

Established in 2011, BurgerFi is among the nation's fastest-growing better burger concepts with approximately 125 BurgerFi restaurants domestically and internationally. The concept is chef-founded and is committed to serving fresh food of transparent quality. BurgerFi uses 100% American angus beef with no steroids, antibiotics, growth hormones, chemicals or additives. BurgerFi's menu also includes high quality wagyu beef, antibiotic and cage-free chicken offerings, fresh, hand-cut sides and custard shakes and concretes. BurgerFi was named QSR Magazine's Breakout Brand of 2020, placed in the top 10 on Fast Casual's Top 100 Movers & Shakers list in 2020, was named "Best Burger Joint" by Consumer Reports and fellow public interest organizations in the 2019 Chain Reaction Study, listed as a "Top Restaurant Brand to Watch" by Nation's Restaurant News in 2019, included in Inc. Magazine's Fastest Growing Private Companies List, and ranked on Entrepreneur's 2017 Franchise 500. To learn more about BurgerFi or to find a full list of locations, please visit www.burgerfi.com. Download the BurgerFi App on iOS or Android devices for rewards and  'Like' BurgerFi on Facebook or follow @BurgerFi on Instagram and Twitter.

View source version at BurgerFi - Martha Stewart


Twin Peaks Appoints New Executives to Fuel Franchise Development

March 1, 2021


Ultimate sports lodge hires two new leaders to drive domestic and international expansion

Dallas, TX  (RestaurantNews.com)  Twin Peaks CEO Joe Hummel announced today that the company has welcomed two new executives to its leadership team – Vice President of Franchise Development Glenn Moon and Vice President of International Franchise Development John Brisco.

To further drive franchise development across the globe, Moon will focus on growing Twin Peaks in all parts of the U.S., while Brisco will target development in new international regions.

“We have hired two incredibly talented individuals, and we are thrilled to welcome them to our leadership team,” Hummel said. “Moon and Brisco bring a wealth of valuable experience and expertise to Twin Peaks. They both have extensive backgrounds in developing franchises. We have seen how successful they can be as they both have previously taken restaurant and hospitality brands to new heights.”

Moon joins Twin Peaks with more than 15 years of hospitality investment, real estate development and franchise sales experience with a strong background in site selection, commercial real estate analysis, relationship development with clients and vendor and franchise recruitment. Moon spent most of his career with several large, premier brand companies including Choice Hotels International, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Best Western Hotels & Resorts. Moon transacted franchise agreements from the economy to upper upscale segments in major markets in the Western United States.

Another franchise veteran, Brisco brings more than 30 years of executive international and domestic development to Twin Peaks. Brisco spent six years at TGI Friday’s, where he most notably served as vice president of international development across 75 countries, totaling 190 stores. From there, he went on to work at Ruby Tuesdays and created the company’s international business plan and expanded its franchise base to 38 countries within a five-year period. In 2005, he joined Sbarro as the brand’s president of international franchise and established agreements for an additional 1,000 new stores to be developed within the next 10 years. Most recently, Brisco served as president and CEO of Tony Roma’s.

“Both Moon and Brisco are going to be incredible assets to Twin Peaks as we prepare to bring our brand to more markets within the U.S. and to other parts of the world,” Hummel said. “Twin Peaks is already experiencing impressive growth, but now that we’ve hired them to fuel global franchise development, we are fully prepared to expand even quicker. We are all very excited about what’s in store for the future of Twin Peaks.”

Twin Peaks plans to open 12 to 15 additional locations this year. To learn more about franchise opportunities, visit twinpeaksfranchise.com.

About Twin Peaks

Founded in 2005 in the Dallas suburb of Lewisville, Twin Peaks now has 81 locations in 24 states. Twin Peaks is the ultimate sports lodge featuring made-from-scratch food and the coldest beer in the business served by friendly and attractive Twin Peaks Girls surrounded by scenic views and the latest in high-definition TVs. To learn more about franchise opportunities, visit twinpeaksfranchise.com. For more information, visit twinpeaksrestaurant.com.

View source version at Twin Peaks


Culver’s Announces the Appointment of New CEO Rick Silva

February 25, 2021


Enrique “Rick” Silva Brings Long Track Record of Success as Former CEO and President of Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants

Prairie du Sac, WI  (RestaurantNews.com)  Culver Franchising System, LLC announced today the appointment of Enrique “Rick” Silva as its new CEO to lead the highly successful restaurant chain. Beginning March 29, Silva will lead the system of 792 restaurants, 496 owner-operators, 31,000 team members and the Culver’s Franchise Support Team.

Silva previously led the transformation of Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants, Inc. in his 13 years as CEO. While at the organization, he created a “family-serving-family” culture among its franchisees, support teams and restaurant teams; grew the enterprise value from $180 million to $525 million; improved unit-level operating margins by more than 300 basis points; and built a world-class franchise sales strategy and unit growth process. For the 13 years prior to Checkers & Rally’s, Silva’s category knowledge was further enhanced by leadership positions at Burger King Corporate.

“As we searched for Culver’s next leader, we were looking for several key characteristics – a true culture and values fit, the ability to support and expand the successful growth of our current and future franchisees and a drive to genuinely deliver on our Culver’s Mission: We genuinely care, so every guest who chooses Culver’s leaves happy,” said co-founder Craig Culver. “We are confident that Rick can do all three and are excited to see what he brings to further accelerate Culver’s.”

Culver’s previous CEO was Joe Koss, who retired at the end of 2020 after successfully supporting and leading this growing organization for 23 years.

About Culver’s

For over 35 years, Culver’s guests have been treated to cooked-to-order food made with farm-fresh ingredients and served with a smile. The ever-expanding franchise system now numbers 792 family-owned and operated restaurants in 25 states. The restaurants’ nationally recognized customer service is based on small-town, Midwestern values, genuine friendliness and an unwavering commitment to quality. Signature items include the award-winning ButterBurger, made from fresh, never frozen beef, and Fresh Frozen Custard, including the famous Flavor of the Day program. For more information, visit www.culvers.comwww.culvers.com/facebookwww.twitter.com/culvers or www.instagram.com/culvers.

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Little Caesars Pizza Names Paula Vissing Chief Operating Officer

February 24, 2021


Vissing will lead all domestic and international operations for the global pizza brand

Detroit, MI  (RestaurantNews.com)  Little Caesars Pizza, the global family-owned pizza chain, announced that Paula Vissing has been named Chief Operating Officer. Vissing has been with Little Caesars since 2011 and most recently served as the Senior Vice President of International. In the newly created role, Vissing will oversee all domestic and international operations during a period of incredible growth for the world’s third largest pizza brand.

“Paula has an impressive track record within the company and has successfully led our international division for the last five years, which continues to see record-breaking results year after year,” says David Scrivano, President and CEO of Little Caesars. “I am thrilled to congratulate her on her new role as Chief Operating Officer. Paula is a highly respected and proven leader within Little Caesars and there is nobody better suited to oversee global operations.”

As the Senior Vice President of International, Vissing was responsible for all Little Caesars locations in more than two dozen countries and territories. Under her leadership, Little Caesars experienced the largest period of international growth in the company’s 60+ year history. Previously, Vissing was Vice President of Purchasing and Quality Assurance, where she led cost-saving and sourcing initiatives that supported Little Caesars’ growth in the U.S. Vissing has also led global supply chain expansion, enabling international development efforts across the globe.

“It is an exciting time for the company as we continue to experience exponential growth both in the U.S. and internationally, and I am honored to have the opportunity to oversee the global operations of Little Caesars,” says Vissing. “I look forward to continuing to work along with the Little Caesars leadership team, and organization as a whole, as we continue to bring great tasting, affordable pizza to families around the world.”

Vissing has more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry providing strategic leadership for national brands. A Kentucky native, Vissing received a B.S. in economics from the University of Louisville and an M.B.A. from the University of Kentucky.

About Little Caesars®

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Little Caesars was founded by Mike and Marian Ilitch in 1959 as a single, family-owned restaurant. Today, Little Caesars is the third largest pizza chain in the world, with stores in each of the 50 U.S. states and 27 countries and territories.

Little Caesars recently introduced contactless options for both delivery and carry-out through the Little Caesars app.  Pizzas are baked in 475-degree ovens to ensure food safety and never touched after baking. The chain has also reinforced cleanliness and sanitization procedures, increasing the frequency of cleaning commonly touched surfaces including door handles, glass, countertops, Pizza Portal surfaces, phones, and cash registers.

Known for its HOT-N-READY® pizza and famed Crazy Bread®, Little Caesars has been named “Best Value in America” for the past 14 years (based on nationwide survey of national quick service restaurant customers conducted by Sandelman & Associates – 2007-2020 entitled “Highest Rated Chain – Value for the Money”). Little Caesars products are made with quality ingredients, like fresh, never frozen, mozzarella and Muenster cheese and sauce made from fresh-packed, vine-ripened California crushed tomatoes.

An exceptionally high growth company with 60 years of experience in the $145 billion worldwide pizza industry, Little Caesars is continually looking for franchisee candidates to join our team in markets around the world. In addition to providing the opportunity for entrepreneurial independence in a franchise system, Little Caesars offers strong brand awareness with one of the most recognized and appealing characters in the country, Little Caesar.

View source version at Little Caesars


BurgerFi Names QSR-Industry Veteran Jim Esposito as Chief Operating Officer

February 23, 2021


BurgerFi Appoints Former Burger King, Panera Bread, Papa Gino’s Executive to lead company’s operations

Palm Beach, FL  (RestaurantNews.com)  BurgerFi International Inc. (Nasdaq: BFI, BFIIW), one of the nation’s fastest-growing premium fast-casual concepts and QSR’s 2020 Breakout Brand of the Year known for its better burgers, has hired QSR-industry veteran Jim Esposito to be Chief Operating Officer. Esposito is recognized as an influential leader in the restaurant industry with over 20 years of experience and a successful track record of delivering best-in-class results for public and private growth companies. He is an exceptional operational executive that has led teams of over 7,500 employees with a business-centric and strategic vision. Esposito’s QSR experience includes positions at Burger King Corporation, a Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE: QSR) subsidiary, Panera Bread Company and Papa Gino’s Inc.

“Jim Esposito built his career around successfully managing people and processes for high-quality organizations in very competitive and fast-paced environments, and has achieved tremendous success,” said Ophir Sternberg, Executive Chairman of BurgerFi. “Esposito’s industry experience and positive track record with food-centric and publicly traded companies made him an exceptional candidate as COO.”

Most recently as Senior Vice President of Operations for Planet Fitness (NYSE: PLNT) Esposito grew market share and revenue streams by ensuring the effective management of 105 company-owned locations globally. He drove revenue up by 15.2% to $159.7 million and EBITDA up by 15.7% to $65.6 million in 2019. In his role he coached, trained, and mentored a team of 1,400 employees through leading and influencing, improving employee satisfaction, and dramatically reducing turnover. He spearheaded leadership of global operations; transformed $60 million dollars in annual real estate development, optimized $150 million dollars in revenue and ignited $80 million dollars in bottom-line profits.

“Jim Esposito has a strong record of delivering rapid business results while positioning franchised and corporate-owned businesses to greater levels of profitability and operational efficiencies,” said Julio Ramirez, CEO of BurgerFi. “He is a dynamic change agent able to lead and manage change using innovative, out-of-the-box approaches and I am honored to have him as part of the BurgerFi family.”

Prior to joining Planet Fitness, Esposito worked for Panera Bread, where he collaborated with a cross-functional team to drive business results, improve drive-thru process efficiencies and introduce Panera 2.0, an integrated experience that meets the differentiated needs of to-go, dine-in, and large order delivery customers through new mechanisms for ordering, payment processing, and consumer consumption.

“BurgerFi is leading the way in the ‘better burger’ segment. I am committed to building upon BurgerFi’s dedicated employee base, great operations, and superior products to consistently deliver the best burger and overall exceptional guest experience at every franchise and company-owned restaurant, which will further fuel the 30% projected growth for 2021,” said Jim Esposito, newly appointed COO of BurgerFi. “This is a brand that is built on quality at every touch point – the people, the food, the restaurants, and the best-in-class omnichannel technology platforms. I am looking forward to working with the leadership team to continue BurgerFi’s acceleration as a public company.”

Previously, Esposito held the position of Chief Operating Officer at Papa Gino’s which included two brands, Papa Gino’s Pizzeria and D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches, where he was directly responsible for creating an environment that delivered exceptional operations, sales growth, and increased profitability for 336 restaurants and over 25 licensees which resulted in annual sales of $250 million.

Esposito spent over a decade at Burger King Corporation, where he held a number of key operations positions such as running the Atlanta and Boston company markets and directing strategic and tactical leadership for field operations. In his last role as Senior Director of Global Restaurant Systems and Development, he provided restaurant technology support to over 1,400 restaurants in 10 countries around the world.

About BurgerFi International (Nasdaq: BFI, BFIIW)

Established in 2011, BurgerFi is among the nation’s fastest-growing better burger concepts with approximately 125 BurgerFi restaurants domestically and internationally. The concept is chef-founded and is committed to serving fresh food of transparent quality. BurgerFi uses 100% American angus beef with no steroids, antibiotics, growth hormones, chemicals or additives. BurgerFi’s menu also includes high quality wagyu beef, antibiotic and cage-free chicken offerings, fresh, hand-cut sides and custard shakes and concretes. BurgerFi was named QSR Magazine’s Breakout Brand of 2020, placed in the top 10 on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers & Shakers list in 2020, was named “Best Burger Joint” by Consumer Reports and fellow public interest organizations in the 2019 Chain Reaction Study, listed as a “Top Restaurant Brand to Watch” by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2019, included in Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies List, and ranked on Entrepreneur’s 2017 Franchise 500. To learn more about BurgerFi or to find a full list of locations, please visit www.burgerfi.com. Download the BurgerFi App on iOS or Android devices for rewards and ‘Like’ BurgerFi on Facebook or follow @BurgerFi on Instagram and Twitter. BurgerFi® is a Registered Trademark of BurgerFi IP, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BurgerFi.

View source version at BurgerFi


IHOP Appoints Kieran Donahue as Chief Marketing Officer

February 23, 2021


Hospitality Industry Veteran to Drive IHOP’s Marketing and Culinary Strategies

Glendale, CA  (RestaurantNews.com)  IHOP® today announced the newest member of its executive team, naming Kieran Donahue to the position of Chief Marketing Officer. In this role, Donahue will be responsible for driving IHOP’s marketing and culinary strategies, including oversight of advertising, digital innovation, communications, menu development and overall brand experience. Beginning February 22, Donahue will report directly to IHOP President Jay Johns.

“Kieran is an innovator and a transformational Fortune 500 executive who has a long track record of demonstrated performance across a diverse set of global brands,” said Johns. “Given her impressive professional history surpassing business goals, building trusted relationships and empowering teams, I have no doubt that she will play an integral role in further building guest trust and leading IHOP to its next phase of growth.”

Donahue brings more than 20 years of marketing experience within the hospitality industry, serving in a number of domestic and international marketing roles for Hilton Enterprise and Marriott International. Most recently, she held the position of Vice President, Brand, Marketing and Digital, Americas for Marriott. In that role, she was the architect of a shared service field marketing organization and led the transformation of demand/lead generation programs.

Earlier in her career, Donahue held key leadership positions as Vice President, Americas Marketing for Hilton Enterprises; Vice President of Global Brand Marketing for DoubleTree by Hilton; and Senior Director, Global Brand Marketing for Hilton Hotels and Resorts. Prior to joining Hilton in 2001, she held sales, marketing and public relations roles both in New York and Los Angeles.

“IHOP is a brand that I have long admired, and I am thrilled to be the newest member of the IHOP family, and to help lead this iconic restaurant chain,” said Donahue. “IHOP’s Marketing, Digital, Communications and Culinary Team is made up of a remarkable group of talented individuals, and I’m looking forward to partnering closely with them to execute meaningful programs that reinforce our position as a category leader.”

About International House of Pancakes, LLC

For over 62 years, IHOP has been a leader, innovator and expert in all things breakfast, any time of day. The chain offers 65 different signature, fresh, made-to-order breakfast options, a wide selection of popular lunch and dinner items, including Ultimate Steakburgers. IHOP restaurants offer guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service. As of July 29, 2020, there are 1,841 IHOP restaurants around the world, including restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam as well as Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Lebanon, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Thailand and India. IHOP restaurants are franchised by affiliates of Glendale, Calif.-based Dine Brands Global, Inc. (NYSE: DIN).

View source version at IHOP




Subway Restaurants Announces Steve Rafferty as Senior Vice President of Development



Feb 22, 2021, 08:30 ET



MILFORD, Conn., Feb. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Subway® restaurants have announced Steve Rafferty as Senior Vice President of Development for North America.

In this role, Rafferty is responsible for leading the strategic direction for business development, supporting the network of Subway developers and leading growth initiatives for new and existing franchisees.

"Steve has the deep experience to successfully lead teams to achieve new franchise recruitment, unit growth, and new market entry goals. His wealth of knowledge, along with his focus on franchisee profitability, make him an ideal leader for Team Subway," said Trevor Haynes, President, Subway, North America.

Rafferty has more than 35 years in franchise business development. He successfully led growth and optimization strategies at Yum Brands, Burger King, and PepsiCo. He joins Subway from Dunkin Brands, where he served as Senior Director of U.S. Business Development.

About Subway ® Restaurants The Subway restaurant chain continues to evolve the dining experience, offering guests in more than 100 countries quality ingredients, as well as robust flavor combinations while serving over 6 million made-to-order sandwiches created each day. All Subway restaurants are owned and operated by more than 20,000 Franchise Owners, who employ many people in their communities. The Subway experience is also delivered online at Subway.com, through Subway.com/Delivers, and the Subway® App.

View source version at Subway


The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill Appoints Nick A. Della Penna as Brand President

February 17, 2021


Brand Co-Founder and Restaurateur will Oversee Operations and Continued Growth

West Palm Beach, FL  (RestaurantNews.com)  The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill, a member of the United Franchise Group (UFG) and an award winning, rapidly expanding Mediterranean fast-casual concept, has announced the brand will enhance its leadership team with the appointment of a new Brand President, Nick A. Della Penna, who is also co-founder of the brand.

UFG began franchising The Great Greek in 2018 after partnering with co-founders Nick A. Della Penna and Trent Jones. Della Penna is a third-generation restaurateur with 36 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including the role of vice president of Food and Beverage at the Excalibur® Hotel and Casino, while Jones has many years of experience as a real estate and small business entrepreneur. Together, they purchased the first The Great Greek in Henderson, NV in 2011. During their first year of operation, gross revenue rose by 18 percent. Based on that success, Della Penna and Jones opened a second restaurant in the southwest area of Las Vegas in 2017. Today, the co-founders own four locations in Nevada and one in Florida with four more under development.

“The Great Greek became an instant hit in Nevada and that trend has continued since franchising the concept,” said Della Penna. “Being co-founder of the brand gives me the unique experience of understanding exactly what franchisees need to do to open, operate, and ultimately be successful.”

The award-winning, chef-inspired menu at The Great Greek features homegrown recipes and big, bold flavors like the fan favorite traditional Gyro (Yee-Ro). In addition, guests crave the four signature house-made dips – Hummus, Tzatziki, Melitzanosalata and Tirokafteri (spicy roasted red pepper) – as well as our made to order Fresh Feta Fries. Guests can also indulge in must-have desserts like Baklava Ice Cream or Rice Pudding. The Great Greek offers a wide variety of customizable options for guests to enjoy, including a classic Greek Salad with a choice of Salmon, Shrimp, or several other proteins. Everything is prepared in-house with fresh ingredients that bring traditional flavors from recipes passed down generation after generation.

“The incremental growth of the brand is a true indicator of our success and we look forward to Nick leading the brand to continued growth both domestically and internationally,” said A.J. Titus, President of UFG.

Currently, The Great Greek has 113 franchise locations either open or in development domestically and internationally. According to Della Penna, that success is attributed to three factors: The highest quality ingredients, fresh products that are prepared every day, and every team member is devoted to providing outstanding hospitality. “We want you to live your life deliciously,” added Della Penna.

The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill is seeking single-unit or multi-unit developers. The brand’s initial franchise fee is $39,500 with a total investment cost ranging $476,050 – $798,250. For more information about The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill, visit TheGreatGreekGrillFranchise.com.

About The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill

The award-winning Great Greek Mediterranean Grill was co-founded in 2011 by two third-generation culinary trained restaurateurs with more than 30 years of experience in the food and hospitality business, Nick A. Della Penna and Trent Jones, who purchased The Great Greek’s first location in Henderson, Nevada. After successfully opening two additional Las Vegas locations, Della Penna and Jones started franchising the concept with United Franchise Group and have seen ongoing success. United Franchise Group is comprised of ten affiliated companies and brands with more than 1,600 franchisees in more than 80 countries.

This advertisement is not an offer to sell a franchise. Any offer to sell this franchise will be made by a Franchise Disclosure Document and only following registration by Great Greek Grill in any state requiring registration prior to sale.

In New York: This advertisement is not an offering. An offering can only be made by prospectus filed first with the Department of Law of the State of New York. Such filing does not constitute approval by the Department of Law.

In California: These franchises have been registered under franchise investment law of the State of California. Such registration does not constitute approval, recommendation or endorsement by the Commissioner of business oversight nor a finding by the commissioner that the information provided herein is true, complete and not misleading.

View source version at The Great Greek

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