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Executive Movements - March 2022













Howard Schultz Coming Back to Starbucks as Kevin Johnson Retires

The longtime former CEO of the Seattle-based coffee giant will replace Johnson as CEO on an interim basis as it looks for a permanent successor.

By Jonathan Maze on Mar. 16, 2022

Kevin Johnson is retiring as CEO of Starbucks, the company said on Wednesday, and his replacement—at least for now—is a familiar one: Howard Schultz.

Schultz, who ceded the top job to Johnson five years ago, will take the position on an interim basis while Starbucks’ board of directors looks for a permanent replacement, expected this fall. He will receive a salary of $1.

Johnson will leave his role on April 4 and will serve as a special consultant through September.

“Kevin and the entire executive team stepped up to the challenge of the pandemic and navigated one of the most difficult periods in modern history,” Mellody Hobson, Starbucks board chair, said in a statement.

She cited Johnson’s role providing employees with economic certainty during the COVID shutdown as well as the company’s rapid growth in its Starbucks Rewards loyalty program in the U.S. and China. Johnson has been on the company’s board since 2009 and was named its president and chief operating officer in 2015. He was named CEO in 2017.

He said in a statement that he told the board a year ago that he would consider retirement once the pandemic neared its end. “I feel this is a natural bookend to my 13 years with the company,” he said. “As I make this transition, we are very fortunate to have a founder who is able to step in on an interim basis, giving the board time to further explore potential candidates and make the right long-term succession decision for the company.”

The move instantly opens one of the industry’s biggest positions, as well as one of its most scrutinized. Johnson’s successor will have to deal with a myriad of issues—notably a growing move to unionize the company’s restaurants, which has spread to 145 locations. Six locations have voted to unionize.

But it remains a juggernaut, one of the world’s biggest brands and the second largest restaurant chain in the U.S., behind only McDonald’s, and one that has helped push the envelope on the use of technology to ease the ordering process, build loyalty with consumers and simplify store operations.

The man who helped create this, Schultz, remains a key figure in and around the company and will return for a time to serve as a bridge until the new CEO comes on board. He led the company from 1987 to 2018, growing the chain from 11 locations to more than 28,000 and enjoying a stock price that increased 21,000% during his tenure.

“When you love something, you have a deep sense of responsibility to help when called,” he said in a statement. “Although I did not plan to return to Starbucks, I know the company must transform once again to meet a new and exciting future where all of our stakeholders mutually flourish.”

Johnson is the third high-profile industry CEO to leave his position this month, following Wingstop’s Charlie Morrison earlier this week and Domino’s Ritch Allison.

It's worth noting that one person who might have been a logical successor to Johnson, former Chief Operating Officer Roz Brewer, left Starbucks last year to take the top job at Walgreens.

View source version at Starbucks


Wingstop Announces Resignation of Chairman and CEO Charlie Morrison, Board Appoints President and COO Michael Skipworth as Successor



Mar 14, 2022, 16:02 ET



Lead Independent Director Lynn Crump-Caine to now also serve as Chair of the Board of Directors

DALLAS, March 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Wingstop (NASDAQ: WING) today announced the resignation of its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Charlie Morrison and the appointment of President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Skipworth as successor Chief Executive Officer, effective March 13, 2022. Charlie resigned from the company to become CEO of Salad And Go, where he serves on the Board of Directors. Lynn Crump-Caine, the Lead Independent Director, was appointed to succeed Charlie as Chair.

"It is with mixed emotions that I announce my resignation from Wingstop," said Charlie. "It's been an incredible 10 years and I will be forever proud of the growth and outstanding achievements of the past decade. Michael has worked closely with me as a trusted partner and colleague and I cannot think of a better person to serve as Wingstop's President and CEO. I have a profound amount of respect and confidence in Michael as he leads the brand in its next phase of monumental growth."

Michael joined Wingstop in December 2014 and has served in a number of leadership roles within the company including EVP and Chief Financial Officer and most recently President and COO. During Michael's tenure he has been a key player in the brand's unparalleled success. Of note, he helped launch the brand's 2015 IPO, which became one of the most successful in the industry. With Michael's appointment as CEO, he will also join the Wingstop Board of Directors.

"I'm humbled and excited for this next chapter with Wingstop," said Michael. "Charlie and I have worked together over the past eight years to grow and scale the brand globally, and we have a great deal of momentum as we look to the future. I feel confident we have the right talent and team with a clear strategy to continue delivering our unparalleled and industry-leading results. On a personal note, I will greatly miss Charlie's partnership but am looking forward to seeing the amazing things he accomplishes in his new role."

"On behalf of the Board, I want to extend our sincere gratitude for Charlie's leadership and vision," said Lynn. "We have much to look forward to with Michael as our CEO. He's been instrumental in elevating and scaling Wingstop across the globe and the Board has incredible confidence in his ability to catapult the brand to its next level of growth and beyond."

A conference call for investors will be hosted by Charlie and Michael today, March 14, 2022, beginning at 4 p.m. CT. The conference call can be joined telephonically by dialing 1-877-259-5243 or 1-412-317-5176 for international and entering the conference ID 5201128. A replay will be available two hours after the call and can be accessed by dialing 1-877-344-7529 or 1-412-317-0088 and entering the passcode 7563911. The replay will be available through Monday, March 28, 2022.

About Wingstop Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Dallas, TX, Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ: WING) operates and franchises more than 1,700 locations worldwide. The Wing Experts are dedicated to Serving the World Flavor through an unparalleled guest experience and use of a best-in-class technology platform, all while offering classic and boneless wings, tenders, and Thigh Bites, always cooked to order and hand sauced-and-tossed in fans' choice of 11 bold, distinctive flavors. Wingstop's menu also features signature sides including fresh-cut, seasoned fries and freshly-made ranch and bleu cheese dips.

In fiscal year 2021, Wingstop's system-wide sales increased 20.2% to approximately $2.3 billion, marking the 18th consecutive year of same store sales growth. With a vision of becoming a Top 10 Global Restaurant Brand, its system is comprised of independent franchisees, or brand partners, who account for approximately 98% of Wingstop's total restaurant count of 1,731 as of December 25, 2021. During the fiscal quarter ended December 25, 2021, Wingstop generated 61.3% of sales via digital channels including Wingstop.com and the Wingstop app. Over the next three years, Wingstop intends to increase digital sales through continued investments in its technology platform and scaling its platform globally.

A key to this business success and consumer fandom stems from The Wingstop Way, which includes a core value system of being Authentic, Entrepreneurial, Service-minded, and Fun. The Wingstop Way extends to the brand's environmental, social and governance platform as Wingstop seeks to provide value to all stakeholders.

Rounding out a strong year in 2021, the Company was ranked #1 on Technomic 500's "Fastest Growing Franchise" and #22 on Entrepreneur Magazine's "Franchise 500," maintained its certification as a Great Place to Work, was named as a finalist for The Innovation SABRE Award's Best New Product/Brand Launch category for its Thighstop campaign, and named to Fast Company's "The World's Most Innovative Companies" list ranking #4 in the dining category.

For more information visit www.wingstop.com or www.wingstop.com/own-a-wingstop and follow @Wingstop on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Learn more about Wingstop's involvement in its local communities at www.wingstopcharities.org.

View source version at Wingstop


Red Lobster® Names David Schmidt Chief Financial Officer



Mar 14, 2022, 10:00 ET



ORLANDO, Fla., March 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Red Lobster® announced David Schmidt will join its Senior Leadership Team as Chief Financial Officer. Schmidt comes to Red Lobster from Bloomin' Brands where he has served as Group Vice President and CFO of Casual Dining Brands since 2019.



"Growing up in Minnesota, the place to go for great seafood and to celebrate life's big events was always Red Lobster, including my own high school and college graduation celebrations," said Schmidt. "Today, I'm honored to join this incredible team and iconic brand, and I look forward to being a part of its continued success."


Schmidt is a seasoned restaurant executive and proven leader with over 30 years of progressive experience in finance, operations and accounting. He has spent the last 16 years at Bloomin' Brands in a variety of roles, most recently overseeing the Finance, Analytics and Consumer Insights teams for the Casual Dining Restaurant Portfolio. He previously served as President of Bonefish Grill, where he led the brand's revitalization with a relentless focus on operational excellence and a superior guest experience while also establishing a track record of simplifying and standardizing operating processes that generate meaningful margin improvement. Prior to his work at Bloomin' Brands, Schmidt was Controller / Vice President of Financial Planning Reporting and Analysis at Avado Brands, Inc and Manager of Franchise Finance at Denny's. He began his career in Public Accounting.

"David has a deep understanding of our business and is clearly passionate about our industry, having spent almost his entire career in hospitality," said Kelli Valade, CEO, Red Lobster. "We have continued to focus on building an unstoppable team of expert leaders at Red Lobster, and David certainly has deep experience and leadership skills, which is why I am so excited to have him join us in the CFO role."

Schmidt received his BA in Accounting with a minor in Economics from University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

About Red Lobster Seafood Co. Red Lobster is the world's largest and most-loved seafood restaurant company, headquartered in Orlando, Fla. With a proud heritage and an even brighter future, Red Lobster is focused on serving the highest quality, freshly prepared seafood that is traceable, sustainable and responsibly-sourced. To learn more about Red Lobster's sourcing standards and where the seafood we serve comes from, please visit www.redlobster.com/seafoodwithstandards. Red Lobster is also proud to be an employer of choice, including in 2022, for the second consecutive year, being named to Forbes magazine's list of America's Best Large Employers. To learn more about Red Lobster, including locations and menu options, please visit http://www.redlobster.com or find us on Facebook, TwitterInstagram or TikTok.

View source version at Red Lobster


Erbert & Gerbert’s Announces New Chief Operations Officer

March 10, 2022



COO Named as Fast-Growing Sandwich and Soup Brand Rolls Out New Stores Across the Midwest, Showcasing New Store Design and Small Footprint Concept

Minneapolis, MN  (RestaurantNews.com)  Erbert & Gerbert’s, the Midwest-based fast casual restaurant sandwich shop innovator known for its quality sandwiches, soups and adventurous flavors, is rapidly expanding. With that acceleration comes a promotion in brand leadership with the naming of Jeremy Burke to Chief Operations Officer.

Burke is a creative and insightful executive leader with over fifteen years of results in executing strategy and brand development in the restaurant industry. In his previous role as Vice President of Brand Development and Strategy, he focused on revitalizing and expanding the Erbert & Gerbert’s brand across the country.

Previous to Erbert & Gerbert’s, Jeremy was the Brand & Creative Lead with Buffalo Wild Wings, where he spent more than a decade building the brand as it grew from 300 locations to more than 1,000 today. Burke was key in the chain’s brand positioning and messaging through multiple touch points, driving both awareness and store traffic. He has been recognized nationally for his extraordinary brand building efforts. He aims to do the same with Erbert & Gerbert’s, now as COO.

“Jeremy is a vet in the industry, and has been with our company in key roles for over four years. He has been integral to Erbert & Gerbert’s success, particularly through the challenges of the pandemic and thriving beyond. He will continue to oversee a cross-functional team that includes operations, marketing, technology, franchise development and supply as he manages the business overall. He’ll also focus his energy on short and long-term strategic planning for the company and help further ignite brand growth. He is a valuable asset to our success and I look forward to working with him as COO. ” said Eric Wolfe, President & CEO, Erbert & Gerbert’s.

From a sales perspective, Erbert & Gerbert’s is focused on increasing SSS and profitability for the fast-growing brand and its locations. The company’s double digit comp sales increase and historically high AUV of over $850,000 has positioned the brand for rapid expansion. Plans include near-term expansion of corporate locations in Minneapolis, St Paul and surrounding areas. The brand also plans to open multiple traditional and small footprint franchise locations across Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois and Ohio showcasing a new store design and concept that exceeds customer expectations for quality & convenience.

About Erbert & Gerbert’s

Family-founded in 1988 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwiches and Soups delivers Bold Between the Breads® taste and experience that results in millions of happy customers. With nearly 100 locations in 12 states across the Midwest and rapidly expanding, the business model has successfully grown corporate and franchise stores with a focus on traditional suburban sites featuring drive-thru, pickup and curbside. The brand places high value on passion and people. If you are passionate about success, join our growing franchise community.

View source version at Erbert & Gerbert's



El Pollo Loco Announces Appointment of Laurance “Larry” Roberts as CEO

March 10, 2022 16:05 ET



COSTA MESA, Calif., March 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- El Pollo Loco, Inc. (“El Pollo Loco” or “the Company”) (Nasdaq: LOCO), the nation’s leading fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain, today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Laurance “Larry” Roberts as its Chief Executive Officer and a member of its Board of Directors, effective immediately. Mr. Roberts will also serve as Interim Chief Financial Officer as the company conducts a search to appoint a CFO.

“After thoughtful consideration, the Board unanimously concluded that Larry is the right executive to lead El Pollo Loco forward,” said Michael G. Maselli, Chairman of El Pollo Loco’s Board of Directors. “Larry has done an extraordinary job leading our company as our interim CEO and CFO during the past five months, navigating a challenging operating environment while making the El Pollo Loco brand stronger than ever. With his deep and detailed knowledge of our business and the industry, the Board is confident in Larry’s ability to drive growth and long-term shareholder value.”

Mr. Roberts has served as Chief Financial Officer of El Pollo Loco since July 2013 and was appointed the dual role of Interim Chief Executive Officer in October 2021. He has over 20 years of operations and financial experience in the restaurant industry, with various executive and leadership roles, including Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of KFC within YUM Brands, and Chief Financial Officer of Yum Brands’ Pizza Hut joint venture in the United Kingdom.

“I am incredibly honored to assume this new role and equally thrilled for the future of the Company,” said Mr. Roberts. “With the strong foundation that our team has built over the last few years, we are excited about the opportunity to move our brand forward and are ready to execute on our strategic priorities to further strengthen our business and deliver long-term growth.”

About El Pollo Loco  El Pollo Loco (Nasdaq:LOCO) is the nation’s leading fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain renowned for its masterfully citrus-marinated, fire-grilled chicken and handcrafted entrees using fresh ingredients inspired by Mexican recipes. With 480 company-owned and franchised restaurants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Louisiana, El Pollo Loco is expanding its presence in key markets through a combination of company and existing and new franchisee development. Visit us on our website at ElPolloLoco.com.

View source version at El Pollo Loco







Wing Zone Adds New VP of Operations, Key Franchise Development Roles

Top Chicken Wing Franchise Deepens Roster in Preparation for Brand Rebirth



Mar 10, 2022, 11:56 ET



LAS VEGAS, March 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Wing Zone, one of the nation's leading fast-casual brands serving made-to-order, flavor-packed chicken wings, announced today the expansion of its operations and franchise development team. The addition of these new positions further positions the 31-year-old brand for future growth amidst a company revitalization and the impending launch of Wing Zone 2.0.



One key addition to the Wing Zone leadership team is the appointment of Myles Gift to Vice President of Operations. Gift assumes this role after having spent the majority of his career in operations with a variety of brands including Kyle's Kitchen, Five Guys, Slim Chickens, Captain D's and Pizza Hut. His time spent at these successful franchise brands culminated in a firm understanding of company operations from a franchisor perspective and provided a confident sense of what qualities were key to a successful franchise concept. Qualities that, after taking up residence in the Las Vegas area, Gift found to be inherent to the Wing Zone team.


"Joining the Wing Zone team couldn't have come at a more opportune time, as this is truly the most exciting moment in the brand's history," says Myles Gift, Vice President of Operations for Wing Zone. "The path we're on is one that will elevate our team, as well as Wing Zone locations nationwide, to a new level of service, market competition, and, above all else, customer experience."

In addition to Gift, the Wing Zone team added three new Franchise Business Coaches, Per Hoddelius; Richard Colantuono, and Jason Byrd. There were also two new members who were brought onto the brands Real Estate Management team; Laura Pacino, and David Tunnicliffe as well as the appointments of Omar Caton as the Senior Director of Training and Quality Assurance.

"What we look for in our home office team are folks that profess a people-first mentality and a deep desire to help our brand to operate seamlessly and grow boundlessly," said Ashley Morris, CEO of Wing Zone. "Myles and the rest of the franchise development and operations teams share in our culture of family, industry knowledge and experience, and visionary thinking. This all-star team is destined to accomplish great things and we look forward to a incredible future for our brand."

Despite its decades of history, Wing Zone has recommitted to honoring its deep history with a clear understanding of the brands past, it's years of success that have led to this point all while maintaining a commitment to bettering operations and overall efficiency at the unit-level through the introduction of advanced customer-facing technology, automation, and a fresh take on the dining experience.

Ambitions in 2022 were set on more than just new locations, new markets, and newly inked deals for the Wing Zone franchise. What lies ahead are the openings of the brands first locations to feature its newly unveiled and long-awaited redesign. From there, the Wing Zone team will begin working with the company's 30+ existing franchise locations throughout the country to help bring all sites up to par with the enhanced concept and standards of Wing Zone 2.0, creating a unified experience for brand fanatics and chicken wing enthusiast wherever they may be.

For more information about a Wing Zone franchise opportunity, visit www.wingzonefranchise.com.

About Wing Zone Founded in 1993, Wing Zone is an international fast-casual restaurant franchise known for its cooked-to-order, flavor-fused chicken wings and tenders. Wing Zone's award-winning flavors are available at more than 31 locations in North America and its 30 restaurants internationally. The brand plans to grow to 200 profitable restaurants by 2025. For more information, visit www.wingzone.com. Like Wing Zone on Facebook, follow on Twitter or Instagram.

View source version at Wing Zone


Good Times Restaurants Inc. Welcomes Matthew Karnes as Senior Vice President of Finance and Reports Inducement Grant Under Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4)







Matthew Karnes brings eighteen years of strong finance and operations leadership with a proven ability to direct and manage financial capabilities for both small and large organizations

March 08, 2022 07:30 AM Eastern Standard Time


GOLDEN, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Good Times Restaurants Inc. (GTIM) (the “Company”), operator of Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar and Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard, today announced that Matthew Karnes has been named Senior Vice President of Finance.

Matthew, age 40, joins the Company from Denver Economic Development and Opportunity where he was the Chief Operating and Financial Officer, a position he held since December of 2019 and served as Special Projects Director since August 2018. From November 2015 to August 2018, Matthew was the Finance Director for FP&A and Contract Services at Denver International Airport. Additionally, Matthew served in a variety of individual and supervisory roles within finance and operations after graduating from the University of Arkansas.

"I am delighted to welcome Matthew to the Good Times Restaurants team," said Ryan Zink, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Matthew brings eighteen years of strong finance and operations leadership with a proven ability to direct and manage financial capabilities for both small and large organizations, with a unique knowledge of private, public and government settings. His ability to think strategically, lead teams and drive change, and manage complex operating and capital budgets will continue to strengthen our leadership team."

Matthew stated, "I’ve been following the Company for many years, and I am excited to focus on developing our processes and teams and to be part of continuing to grow these amazing brands for our guests and shareholders. Being a part of Good Times and Bad Daddy’s fits right into my love of culture including the great outdoors, music, food and people."

In connection with Mr. Karnes’ appointment, the Company’s Board of Directors approved, pursuant to Rule 5635(c)(4) of the Nasdaq Stock Market Listing Rules, the grant of inducement equity awards to Mr. Karnes in the form of (a) a stock option to purchase 25,000 shares of the Company’s common stock granted on Mr. Karnes’ first day of employment (the “Initial Options”); and (b) an additional stock option to purchase 25,000 shares of common stock to be granted on the one year anniversary date of Mr. Karnes employment (the “Additional Options,” and, together with the Initial Options, the “Options”). The Options will be granted outside of the Company’s 2018 Omnibus Equity Incentive Plan as an inducement material to Mr. Karnes’ acceptance of employment with the Company. The Initial Options have a ten-year term, vest 1/3 each year over a three-year vesting period, subject to Mr. Karnes’ continuous employment with the Company, and will have an exercise price equal to the Company’s closing market price on the day of grant. The Additional Options will have a ten-year term, an exercise price equal to the greater of market price on the date of grant or $5.00, and will vest upon the achievement the Company’s common stock reaching a market price of $7.50 per share, calculated based upon a trailing 60-day volume weighted average price.

About Good Times Restaurants Inc.:

Good Times Restaurants Inc. (GTIM) owns, operates, franchises and licenses 42 Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar restaurants through its wholly owned subsidiaries. Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar is a full-service “small box” restaurant concept featuring a chef-driven menu of gourmet signature burgers, chopped salads, appetizers and sandwiches with a full bar and a focus on a selection of craft microbrew beers in a high-energy atmosphere that appeals to a broad consumer base. Additionally, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Good Times Restaurants Inc. operates and franchises a regional quick-service restaurant chain consisting of 32 Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard restaurants located primarily in Colorado.

View source version at Good Times Restaurants


With a Commitment to a Seamless Guest Experience, New England Authentic Eats, LLC Adds Two Executive Roles to Drive Transformative Growth

March 7, 2022



Promotion of Deena McKinley to CXO, Hire of VP of Technology & Automation Kevin Bentley to Enhance Guest Journey at the Heart of Papa Gino’s, D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches

Dedham, MA  (RestaurantNews.com)  New England Authentic Eats, LLC, parent company of iconic hometown brands Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches, is creating a seamless guest experience – online and in-person – and has engaged two senior restaurant industry executives to lead the charge. Deena McKinley, who has served as NEAE’s Chief Marketing Officer since 2019, has been promoted to the new position of Chief Experience Officer. Kevin Bentley, who has an extensive technology and management background in the restaurant industry, has joined the company as Vice President of Technology & Automation.

“Our core menu items – like Papa Gino’s pizza and D’Angelo’s classic Steak & Cheese – have been fan favorites for generations of New Englanders who have grown up with them. While our recipes and quality of ingredients haven’t changed, the way guests interact with our brands has shifted dramatically during the past two years,” said NEAE President and CEO Tom Sterrett. “Recognizing the importance of Deena and Kevin’s positions aligns with our plans for growth as we build the Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo of the future to exceed guest expectations for service, selection and speed. I look forward to working with both of them to accomplish that vision.”

During the pandemic, McKinley quickly immersed the company in best practices for guest communication around digital ordering, third-party delivery platforms, contactless carryout and in-restaurant ordering, while revamping the brands’ presence across channels. Since joining the company as CMO, McKinley has elevated the visibility of Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo through numerous initiatives – an ongoing food delivery program to community heroes; personalized guest journeys through digital marketing; growth of social platforms and use of influencers to increase following and engagement; community programs and large-scale giveaways to solidify positioning as neighborhood staples; and a successful campaign to celebrate a milestone 60th birthday for Papa Gino’s.

“It’s been an incredible journey with these two iconic brands since 2019. I’m continuously motivated by the love of our guests and commitment of our team members,” said McKinley. “We’ve quietly accomplished a lot, and now, with Kevin onboard, we can accelerate our plans for a modernized Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo that reaches our guests where they are, meeting their expectations for consistency, quality, speed and accessibility in our digital world. I couldn’t be more excited about partnering with Kevin to advance our company’s connection with our guests.”

Prior to joining NEAE, McKinley served as Chief Experience Officer at Mobivity, a customer engagement marketing platform, working with national multi-unit restaurant companies such as Subway, Jamba Juice and Dairy Queen. Previously, she was Chief Client Officer at Zimmerman Advertising, working with restaurant clients such as Papa John’s Pizza, Boston Market and Firehouse Subs.

In his new role, Bentley will lead NEAE’s technology team and work closely with McKinley to optimize restaurant, company and guest experiences through digital automation and innovation, from back office to data analytics, mobile ordering, website, and loyalty. He will partner with McKinley to define and execute on the vision for a seamless guest experience to drive performance, profitability, and efficiency.

“This is an ideal opportunity for me to bring my years of technology, innovation, automation and analytics experience, as well as my entrepreneurial mindset to this growing company,” said Bentley. “I was excited about coming to New England Authentic Eats because of the enthusiasm of the guests – on a level I’ve never seen before – and the enthusiasm of the team. I’m looking forward to partnering with Tom, Deena and everyone at the company to help drive us to the next level.”

McKinley and Bentley’s first joint effort was the selection of its new digital operating system, Lunchbox. As NEAE’s latest digital strategic partner, Lunchbox will be a key in developing a website and app that represents NEAE’s mission to build a frictionless guest experience and enhanced digital journey, offering innovative and accessible ordering solutions. Lunchbox is an innovative restaurant technology company building a centralized digital ordering solution to allow brands to build and enhance its customer database. Lunchbox’s technology is helping enterprise restaurant chains simplify and centralize their digital tech stack, and NEAE is excited to be building on this scalable foundation.

Before joining NEAE, Bentley served as director of automation technology and innovation at Inspire Brands (whose brands include Dunkin’, Baskin Robbins, Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Jimmy John’s, Rusty Taco, and Sonic Drive-In), where he leveraged data and consumer-facing and backend technology platforms to support everything from ordering to operations, driving profitability and a streamlined customer experience.

Bentley began his career as a professional football player after being drafted by the Cleveland Browns, where he was voted 2002 Team Rookie of the Year for exceptional performance. He played for a few other teams and reached the pinnacle of the sport, making it to the Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks. He was known as a fierce competitor and leader, achieving the honor of being voted team captain by his peers. Kevin had an amazing 10-year run before retiring from the league in 2012.

After leaving the NFL, he earned an MBA from Rice University and a Master of Information Systems from Northwestern University. He was recognized as the number one MBA candidate in the country in 2015 by Poets & Quants. Bentley brings over 20 years of leadership, technology, and marketing experience, holding prior positions at Tropical Smoothie, Infosys, Owens Corning, and Arby’s, where he rolled out PAR-POS to over 1100 corporate restaurants and oversaw the franchise business for two years.

Bentley is a devoted husband to his wife, Christina, and proud father of four daughters (Kennedy, Kayden, Kendal, and Kaylani) and a son (Kevin Jr). He has certifications as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, a Scrum Master, and is a PSIA-AASI Certified Level 3 Snowboard Instructor working with Olympic athletes.

About Papa Gino’s

Founded in 1961, Papa Gino’s Pizzeria is a proud New England staple with a heritage of serving high quality, handmade pizzas with fresh ingredients and an over 80-year-old Italian family recipe. From a single restaurant in East Boston, Papa Gino’s has expanded to nearly 100 restaurants in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. Follow Papa Gino’s on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and TikTok.

About D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches

Celebrating its 55th year in business, D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches is a chain of 83 neighborhood-style sandwich shops found throughout New England in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Founded in 1967 in Dedham, MA, D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches serves various kinds of Grilled, Hot and Deli Sandwiches, Rice & Grain Bowls, Lobster Rolls and Sandwiches, Grilled Topped Salads, Wraps and Hot Soups. Famous for its Steak & Cheese Sandwiches, the company’s grilled sandwich Number 9® was called “the finest fast-food sandwich in the land” in a Bloomberg News column. Follow D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and TikTok.

View source version at New England Authentic Eats


Domino’s Announces Executive Promotions

March 7, 2022



Ann Arbor, MI  (RestaurantNews.com)  Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ), the largest pizza company in the world, has announced the promotions of Joe Jordan to the role of President, U.S. & Global Services and Art D’Elia to the role of Executive Vice President – International, effective May 1, 2022. Jordan and D’Elia will both report to Russell Weiner, current Chief Operating Officer and President – Domino’s U.S. and incoming Domino’s CEO (effective May 1, 2022.)

“Joe and Art are extremely talented executives who have 15 years of Domino’s experience between the two of them,” said Mr. Weiner. “They are well known and respected by our team members and franchisees around the world. Each are incredible leaders whose insights, expertise and values embody what makes Domino’s such a special place to work. I am excited for them and for the Company.”

As President, U.S. & Global Services, Jordan will be responsible for leading the Company’s U.S. business and key global centers of excellence. He most recently served as Executive Vice President – International of Domino’s since April 2018, after serving as Senior Vice President – Chief Marketing Officer of Domino’s from May 2015 to April 2018. Prior to joining Domino’s, Jordan worked for six years at PepsiCo North America, where he served as the senior director of marketing. Jordan holds an MBA from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the College of William and Mary.

As Executive Vice President – International, D’Elia will be responsible for overseeing the Domino’s business in more than 90 countries around the world. D’Elia most recently served as Executive Vice President – Chief Marketing Officer of Domino’s since July 2020. He joined Domino’s in January 2018 as Senior Vice President – Chief Brand & Innovation Officer. Prior to Domino’s, D’Elia served as chief marketing officer for Danone Dairy’s business unit which serviced the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg. D’Elia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan.

About Domino’s Pizza®

Founded in 1960, Domino’s Pizza is the largest pizza company in the world, with a significant business in both delivery and carryout pizza. It ranks among the world’s top public restaurant brands with a global enterprise of more than 18,800 stores in over 90 markets. Domino’s had global retail sales of nearly $17.8 billion in 2021, with over $8.6 billion in the U.S. and over $9.1 billion internationally. In the fourth quarter of 2021, Domino’s had global retail sales of over $5.5 billion, with over $2.6 billion in the U.S. and nearly $2.9 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 2021. Emphasis on technology innovation helped Domino’s achieve more than half of all global retail sales in 2021 from digital channels. In the U.S., Domino’s generated more than 75% of U.S. retail sales in 2021 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.

View source version at Domino's







Focus Brands Appoints Tory Bartlett as Chief Brand Officer of Moe's Southwest Grill



Mar 02, 2022, 07:30 ET



ATLANTA, March 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Focus Brands®, parent company of iconic brands including Auntie Anne's®Carvel®Cinnabon®Jamba®McAlister's Deli®Moe's Southwest Grill® and Schlotzsky's®, announced today the appointment of Tory Bartlett as Chief Brand Officer for Moe's Southwest Grill. Bartlett has been with Focus Brands for three years, most recently serving as Chief Brand Officer for Schlotzsky's.



"Tory's impressive leadership with Schlotzsky's has helped propel the brand forward," said Joe Guith, Restaurant Category President, Focus Brands. "Moe's Southwest Grill has incredible potential to continue to grow and evolve, and with Tory's operations-centric mindset and proven track record for successful brand management, we are excited about what's next for the brand."


During his tenure as Schlotzsky's Chief Brand Officer, Bartlett introduced two new prototypes as well as overhauled the menu to streamline operations and maximize kitchen efficiency.  The brand also had a record number of new deal signings in 2021, adding an additional 124 restaurants to the pipeline. Bartlett brings over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry having worked in leadership roles at Tin Lizzy's and Hooters prior to joining Focus Brands.

About Focus Brands Atlanta-based Focus Brands is a leading developer of global multi-channel foodservice brands. Focus Brands, through its affiliate brands, is the franchisor and operator of more than 6,000 restaurants, cafes, ice cream shoppes, and bakeries in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and over 50 foreign countries under the brand names Auntie Anne's®, Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Jamba®, Moe's Southwest Grill®, McAlister's Deli®, and Schlotzsky's®, as well as Seattle's Best Coffee® on certain military bases and in certain international markets. Please visit www.focusbrands.com to learn more.

View source version at Focus Brands


Domino’s Announces Leadership Succession Plan

March 1, 2022




Ritch Allison to Retire; Will Continue Serving as CEO Through April 30, 2022

Board Appoints Russell Weiner, Current COO and President Domino’s U.S., as Successor

Sandeep Reddy Named Chief Financial Officer Effective April 1, 2022

Ann Arbor, MI  (RestaurantNews.com)  Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) today announced that Ritch Allison has informed the Board of Directors of his intention to retire from the Company. Mr. Allison will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer through April 30, 2022 and will remain on the Domino’s Board of Directors until the Company’s 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders on April 26, 2022. The Board has appointed Russell Weiner, Domino’s Chief Operating Officer and President – Domino’s U.S., to succeed Mr. Allison as the Company’s next CEO, effective May 1, 2022. Mr. Weiner will stand for election to the Board at the upcoming Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Mr. Allison will continue to provide his guidance and expertise to the Company in an advisory capacity until he retires from Domino’s on July 15, 2022. In connection with today’s announcement, David A. Brandon will transition from Chairman of the Board to the newly established position of Executive Chairman, effective May 1, 2022.

Mr. Weiner has served as Chief Operating Officer and President – Domino’s U.S. since July 2020. In this role, Mr. Weiner has overseen the U.S. business for Domino’s, as well as the global centers of excellence teams responsible for marketing, operations, store growth and development, franchise relations, analytics and insights and e-commerce. Since joining Domino’s as Executive Vice President – Chief Marketing Officer in 2008, he has been integral to driving results in the U.S. During Mr. Weiner’s tenure, the Company’s annual U.S. retail sales have grown from approximately $3 billion to more than $8 billion. In addition, digital mix has grown from 11.5% of U.S. sales to more than 75%, U.S. store count has grown over 25% and Domino’s U.S. market share of QSR pizza has more than doubled. Mr. Weiner also led the Company’s Pizza Turnaround campaign, central to the success of the Domino’s brand.

Mr. Allison said, “Serving at Domino’s for more than a decade, including the last four years as CEO, has been the privilege of a lifetime. During that time, we and our franchises have achieved tremendous growth and today the Domino’s brand is as strong as ever. While there is much that I will remember fondly, I am most proud of the culture that ties us all together – the “sauce in our veins” that makes Domino’s so special. Domino’s has the best franchisees in the world and I am grateful for them, along with our incredible store managers, and team members. With Russell as CEO and with the addition of Sandeep as CFO, supported by the rest of our leadership team, I am comfortable and confident stepping aside, knowing that Domino’s has strong leaders who are passionate and committed to our business. I look forward to watching the Company continue to grow under their guidance.”

Mr. Brandon commented, “We are fortunate to have a talented and experienced leader like Russell to move into the CEO role. Russell’s strategic and operational capabilities have been demonstrated consistently over his many years of service to our company. He has played a pivotal leadership role in driving innovation and transforming many aspects of the Domino’s brand during his tenure, including reinventing Domino’s menu and advertising. He has a passion for our brand and company and a vision for our continued expansion and success worldwide. As we enter a new phase of growth for the Company, we believe Russell’s energy, inspirational leadership style and earned respect of our Team Members and Franchisees make him the right choice to take Domino’s forward.”

Mr. Brandon added, “On behalf of the Board and the Company, I want to thank Ritch for his many contributions to Domino’s. Ritch’s dedication to the Company is second to none, and throughout his tenure as CEO, he has been a force for positive change in all aspects of the organization. This includes opening approximately 4,000 new stores, expanding the brand to over 90 global markets, and increasing global retail sales by over $5 billion. Domino’s is well positioned as we enter this next phase of growth. We appreciate Ritch’s continued involvement as an advisor as we ensure a smooth transition.”

Mr. Weiner said, “I am honored to lead this great company and brand that I love. Domino’s became the #1 pizza company in the world through a relentless focus on our customers and every aspect of their pizza experience. That focus is as strong as ever and I am excited to work with our talented leaders, team members and franchisees to deliver the next phase of Domino’s growth. I thank Ritch for his leadership and collaboration and look forward to working with him to ensure a seamless transition.”

In addition, the Company announced that Sandeep Reddy has been appointed as Domino’s next Chief Financial Officer, effective April 1, 2022.

As CFO of Six Flags, Mr. Reddy led the company’s emergence from the pandemic with strong financial results in 2021 and also served as a strategic thought partner to the CEO and the leadership team in strategy development. Prior to that, as CFO of Guess?, Inc., Mr. Reddy, along with the management team, led a turnaround of financial results with strong improvement in revenue, profitability, and shareholder value.

Mr. Brandon concluded, “Sandeep is a proven executive who brings nearly three decades of global leadership experience in consumer facing businesses. His financial acumen and expertise in operations, strategy, technology and management make him a natural choice to serve as our next CFO. Ritch and Russell partnered well together in the recruitment and selection of Sandeep, and together with the Board, we are confident that Sandeep will be integral in helping Russell and the rest of the Leadership Team drive continued growth and success for Domino’s into the future.”

Mr. Reddy said, “I have had the privilege of working with many great brands over my career and I am thrilled with this opportunity to now work with what I believe is a truly iconic global brand with enormous growth potential. With the strong financial foundation and talented leadership team already in place at Domino’s, I am confident in the Company’s prospects for continued value creation and look forward to partnering with Russell and the Leadership Team as we chart our roadmap for the journey ahead.”

About Russell Weiner

Russell Weiner has served as Chief Operating Officer and President – Domino’s U.S. since July 2020. Mr. Weiner was first named to the newly-created position of Chief Operating Officer and President of the Americas in July 2018. Prior to becoming Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Weiner served as president of Domino’s USA from October 2014 to July 2018, after joining the company as Executive Vice President – Chief Marketing Officer in 2008. Since joining Domino’s as Executive Vice President – Chief Marketing Officer in 2008, he has been integral to driving results in the U.S. During Mr. Weiner’s tenure, the Company’s U.S. retail sales have grown from approximately $3 billion to more than $8 billion. In addition, digital mix has grown from 11.5% of U.S. sales to more than 75%, U.S. store count has grown over 25% and Domino’s U.S. market share of QSR Pizza has more than doubled. Weiner also led the creation of the “pizza theater” store design, the development of a new logo for the brand and oversaw the creation of the DXP pizza delivery vehicle.

Prior to joining Domino’s in 2008, Mr. Weiner led the marketing for Pepsi’s North American cola business. Mr. Weiner also serves on the board of directors of The Clorox Co. Mr. Weiner earned a Bachelor of Arts in government from Cornell University, and an MBA in marketing and international business from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

About Sandeep Reddy

Sandeep Reddy currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Six Flags. Prior to that, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Guess?, Inc., a contemporary clothing and accessories retailer, from July 2013 through December 2019. Before that, he served as Vice President and European Chief Financial Officer of Guess, where he was responsible for all aspects of Guess’ European finance functions, including financial planning, treasury, accounting, and tax from 2010 to 2013. From 1997 to 2010, Mr. Reddy served in a number of positions of increasing responsibility for Mattel Inc., a leading global toy manufacturer, ultimately serving as Vice President Finance and Supply Chain for the SEUR (France, Spain, Portugal, Italy) cluster. Mr. Reddy has a BA (Honors) in Economics from Delhi University and an M.B.A. from Cornell University.

About Domino’s Pizza®

Founded in 1960, Domino’s Pizza is the largest pizza company in the world, with a significant business in both delivery and carryout pizza. It ranks among the world’s top public restaurant brands with a global enterprise of more than 18,800 stores in over 90 markets. Domino’s had global retail sales of nearly $17.8 billion in 2021, with over $8.6 billion in the U.S. and over $9.1 billion internationally. In the fourth quarter of 2021, Domino’s had global retail sales of over $5.5 billion, with over $2.6 billion in the U.S. and nearly $2.9 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 2021. Emphasis on technology innovation helped Domino’s achieve more than half of all global retail sales in 2021 from digital channels. In the U.S., Domino’s generated more than 75% of U.S. retail sales in 2021 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.

View source version at Domino's


East Coast Wings + Grill Promotes Whitney Mann to Executive Vice President of Operations

March 1, 2022




Casual-dining Franchise Appoints 18-year Company Loyalist to Sustain the Brand’s Accelerated Growth

Winston-Salem, NC  (RestaurantNews.com)  East Coast Wings + Grill, a full-service casual-dining franchise that spotlights Buffalo wings and fresh crafted burgers, has promoted 18-year company loyalist Whitney Mann to Executive Vice President of Operations.

Mann first joined East Coast Wings + Grill in 2004 as a server at one of its restaurants. Shortly after her career began, her leadership traits and tenacity were recognized, and she was named General Manager of the King, NC location in 2007. With an eagerness for learning the corporate side of operations, she joined the corporate team as a part-time administrative assistant in 2008. Since joining the corporate team, she has been promoted to Corporate Training Coordinator, Unit Level Systems Analyst, Brand Field Consultant, Director of Functional Analytics and finally VP of Field Operations before settling into her newly-appointed role.

“Having done every job at the restaurant level and by gaining additional experience at corporate, I have a unique perspective that has helped me provide strong operational guidance across the organization. I know the day-to-day challenges franchisees and their employees face on the front-lines,” said Mann. “Since my career began with East Coast Wings + Grill 18 years ago, I’ve been focused on going the extra mile – whether it’s for customers, fellow employees or franchisees. I look forward to continuing that approach in my new role and look forward to continued success with this amazing brand.”

In this new role, Mann will focus on sustaining brand growth that has been achieved after a record-breaking 2021. Her primary objective will be ensuring franchisees and their teams maintain brand compliance, while also closely watching marketing and social media trends to ensure the brand remains an industry leader in offering best-in-class technologies and resources.

“During her long tenure with our brand, much of Whitney’s achievements can be tied to her entrepreneurial spirit and relentless pursuit of providing the highest level of customer service across all the stakeholders in our organization,” said East Cast Wings + Grill CEO, Sam Ballas. “She is truly the embodiment of our corporate mantra, ‘Never Be Satisfied.’ I’m confident our brand will continue to grow under her operational watch.”

For more information about East Coast Wings + Grill franchising opportunities, visit www.eastcoastwingsfranchise.com.

About East Coast Wings + Grill

East Coast Wings + Grill is a full-service, casual-dining franchise that spotlights Buffalo wings and fresh crafted burgers. The thoughtfully-crafted menu also offers a variety of other options to satisfy every family member’s taste buds. With more than 60-nationwide locations currently operating or in various stages of development, the franchise recently secured a top spot on Restaurant Business Magazine’s “Future 50” list of fastest-growing, U.S. mid-sized restaurant chains for the second-consecutive year. Entrepreneur magazine also named East Coast Wings + Grill one of the nation’s top franchise investments, and Franchise Times magazine ranked the company No. 383 on its “Top 200+” list of top revenue-producing U.S. franchises. The concept has also been recognized by The Franchise Grade and Franchise Business Review for transparency during the franchise sales process, franchisee support and overall franchisee satisfaction. For more information about East Coast Wings + Grill or its franchise opportunities, visit www.eastcoastwings.com or www.eastcoastwingsfranchise.com.

View source version at East Coast Wings + Grill


Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken Adds Food Industry Veteran Dan Sokolik To Lead Marketing

February 28, 2022




Shalimar, FL   (RestaurantNews.com)  Food industry veteran Dan Sokolik has joined LFR Chicken LLC, owner of the Lee’s Famous Recipe® Chicken brand, as vice president of marketing. Sokolik has 20 years of quick service restaurant (QSR) marketing experience at the corporate, ad agency and franchisee levels. His work includes over 10 years with Subway in both corporate field marketing and agency account director roles. He also led an agency team for McDonald’s and was director of marketing for a multi-unit Domino’s Pizza franchise. Most recently he managed the Lee’s account for its agency of record, Stone Ward.

“Lee’s has experienced record-setting sales growth over the past several years, and we’re expanding the footprint of the brand, so the time is right to have a QSR pro such as Dan join the team to support our aggressive growth plans,” says Ryan Weaver, Lee’s CEO. “Our goal for Lee’s is to grow it into a category-leading brand and introduce it to many more cities and states across the country. Dan’s experience and expertise will be of immense value to our franchisees and operators and will support our vision and growth aspirations.”

“During my time working on the Lee’s business at Stone Ward, I’ve seen firsthand how the combination of Lee’s passionate owners and operators coupled with great tasting, high quality menu items make this brand standout,” says Sokolik. “I look forward to being a part of Lee’s leadership team during this exciting time in the company’s history. I’m eager to help shape the future of this great brand and introduce it to even more consumers.”

Both Sokolik and Weaver point to new technology, internal processes and investment in the “already solid Lee’s platform” as integral in scaling the business that was founded 55 years ago by the “Colonel’s” nephew Lee Cummings and his business partner Harold Omer. Today, Lee’s has 131 locations in 12 U.S. states and Canada with announcements coming soon for additional store development.

About Lee’s Famous Recipe® Chicken

For more than 50 years Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, a casual dining franchise founded in Lima, Ohio, has specialized in fresh, never frozen chicken. Today there are 131 Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken locations in 12 U.S. states and in Canada and all are individually owned and operated. For additional information, please visit LeesFamousRecipe.com.

View source version at Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken


Church’s Chicken Values Culture and Expands Its Leadership with QSR Industry Expert and Seasoned Marketer

February 22, 2022




Claudia Lezcano Promoted to Senior Vice President of Marketing

Atlanta, GA  (RestaurantNews.com)  Following a year of successful initiatives to revitalize their brand character, Texas heritage and unique bold flavors, Church’s Chicken® announced it has promoted Claudia Lezcano to Senior Vice President U.S. Marketing. This move further expands its significant industry expertise to the Church’s executive team Church’s Chicken Values Culture and Expands Its Leadership with QSR Industry Expert and Seasoned Marketerwhich has continued to embrace diversity of thought across its entire corporate and restaurant network. In her newly updated role, Lezcano will oversee brand strategy, creative, media, and product R&D divisions across the U.S. and report directly to President and CEO, Joe Christina.

“Claudia has the vision and attitude to help us fulfill our next 5-Year Strategic Plan,” stated Christina. “She brings clarity around purpose and people, key characteristics among our leadership team. It is important to all of us at Church’s to recognize people and create opportunities for our brightest stars to grow and advance.”

Lezcano, recently highlighted in Senior Human Resource Management, first joined Church’s in summer of 2021 as Vice President of Brand Strategy & Activation, leading a talented group of marketers.

In her role, Claudia will be responsible for maximizing marketing’s impact on the business, specifically around growing sales and profitable traffic, cross functional collaboration to solve strategic business opportunities and leading initiatives that will drive future growth; these include the loyalty platform, data driven customer contact management and insights inspired connectivity with Church’s diverse customer base. Lezcano will serve as an important liaison between the company and U.S. franchisees.

“I am honored that the Church’s family has appreciated my contributions thus far, and I am motivated to build upon those achievements in ways that positively impact the entire brand,” said Lezcano. “I believe the power of diverse leadership encourages more participation from all stakeholders and my goal is to be the kind of inspirational leader that motivates personal and professional growth.”

About Church’s Chicken®

Founded in San Antonio, TX in 1952 by George W. Church, Church’s Chicken® is one of the largest quick service restaurant chicken chains in the world. Church’s® specializes in Original and Spicy Chicken freshly prepared throughout the day in small batches that are hand-battered and double-breaded, Tender Strips®, Honey-Butter Biscuits™ made from scratch and freshly baked, and classic, home-style sides all for a great value. Church’s® (along with its sister brand Texas Chicken® outside the Americas) has more than 1,500 locations in 23 countries and international territories and system-wide sales of more than $1 billion. For more information, visit www.churchs.com. Follow Church’s® on Facebook at www.facebook.com/churchschicken and Twitter at www.twitter.com/churchschicken.

View source version at Church's Chicken


National Restaurant Association Names Golden Corral CEO Lance Trenary as Chair of Board of Directors

February 15, 2022




President and CEO of America’s #1 buffet and grill selected to oversee board of directors for restaurant industry’s leading business association

Raleigh, NC  (RestaurantNews.com)  Golden Corral is proud to announce that the company’s President and CEO Lance Trenary has been named chair of the National Restaurant Association Board of Directors.

Trenary joins Vice Chair Scott Redler, co-founder and COO of Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, and Treasurer Jeff Lobdell, president and founder of Restaurant Partners Management, along with several newly elected directors on the board.

“I am honored to serve as chair of the National Restaurant Association Board of Directors,” Trenary said. “Our industry has shown incredible resilience over the past two years, and I look forward to working with the incredible staff at the association, as well as my colleagues on the board to find strategic and innovative ways to emerge from these challenging times.”

Marvin Irby, interim president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association and CEO of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, said in a press release that Trenary’s unique background and comprehensive knowledge will contribute a key perspective to the board during the industry’s time of rebuilding.

Trenary is also currently a trustee for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, serves on the executive committee of the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association in addition to having served as a member, and serves as a member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum CEO Advisory Council. Committed to giving back, Trenary serves as a founding board member for Camp Corral, a summer camp for children of wounded or fallen military service members. He also serves on the Founder’s Circle Advisory Board for Project Healing Waters, which is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of wounded or disabled military service personnel.  He is a passionate supporter of ProStart for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and contributes time and resources to help young people explore career opportunities in the industry that he loves.

Trenary has progressed through a variety of leadership roles during his 36-year tenure at Golden Corral. He is only the third person to hold the position of CEO in the brand’s 49-year history – a role he has held since 2015. Golden Corral’s legendary endless buffet features an abundant variety of quality, made-from-scratch food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Guests can choose from over 100 items including USDA grilled to order steaks, pork, seafood and shrimp alongside traditional favorites like pot roast, fried chicken, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, fresh salads and more.

About Golden Corral

Founded in 1973 and based in Raleigh, N.C., Golden Corral is the nation’s largest grill-buffet restaurant chain. Golden Corral strives to make pleasurable dining affordable for all families. While its commitment begins each day with preparing delicious food, Golden Corral also believes in providing outstanding hospitality and giving back. Service to others is a hallmark of the Golden Corral brand. Golden Corral restaurants nationwide have long been strong supporters of the U.S. Military and DAV (Disabled American Veterans). Golden Corral is also the founding sponsor of Camp Corral, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation, which provides free, one-of-a-kind summer camp experiences for children of wounded, injured, ill or fallen service members. For more information, visit goldencorral.com and follow Golden Corral on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

View source version at National Restaurant Association

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