Famous Dave’s Announces Sylvia Matzke-Hill as New Head of Culinary

Storied Barbeque Franchise Welcomes Restaurant Industry Veteran to Leadership Team During Brand Reinvigoration 

Sylvia Matzke-Hill
Sylvia Matzke-Hill

Famous Dave’s, an award-winning barbeque concept offering wood-smoked and off-the-grill entrée favorites, is excited to announce the addition of Sylvia Matzke-Hill to its experienced and invigorated leadership team. Earlier this year, Famous Dave’s launched a strategic plan to elevate its franchise offering with a refreshed menu featuring 23 new founder-inspired menu items, introduced its new restaurant design featuring a smaller restaurant footprint, as well as launched a revamped technology offering including online ordering and third-party delivery. Building on this momentous start to the year, Famous Dave’s recently brought on Matzke-Hill and her unparalleled experience in the restaurant and franchising space to continue to elevate the one thing that has remained part of the brand’s core since the beginning – it’s food.

Matzke-Hill has been in the restaurant business since she was 16-years-old and employed at McDonalds. She attended the University of Minnesota and studied Food Science, and went on to work in both the restaurant space and business to business in roles at household names including Hardee’s, Denny’s, Ponderosa and Schwan’s. Most recently, Matzke-Hill spent 11 years with Buffalo Wild Wings on both the domestic and international teams. She spent most of her time evaluating the different cultures in the international markets where the brand was looking to open new locations, and then developing the menus to fit the preferences in each market. When an opportunity with Famous Dave’s presented itself, Matzke-Hill knew it would be the perfect place to continue to build her impressive career.

“I have always had such a passion for barbeque,” said Matzke-Hill. “Barbeque is unique – it is as much a science as it is an art.  With ‘hand crafted for me’ growing as a trend, Famous Dave’s is definitely leading the movement.  At each location we season, smoke and make a variety of offerings fresh daily, which proves a unique position and platform that allows us to do things better and different.  I am so excited to work with [founder] Dave Anderson and Travis Clark, our new Pitmaster, to elevate our offering and introduce quality smoked meats in different ways to our customers.”

Alongside Matzke-Hill is storied leadership team. Dave Anderson is leading the charge of innovation, focused on modernizing the franchise offering while still staying true to the fan-favorite concept that he founded nearly 25 years ago. Behind him, CEO Jeff Crivello is focused on bringing the right franchisees into the system and ensuring each and every one of them is positioned for success. Pairing the old with the new – founder and fresh leadership – Famous Dave’s is armed with a strong leadership team that is putting innovation on the forefront while staying true to the brand’s roots.

“When I founded this concept in 1994, I made a vow to myself that I would deliver the best barbeque in town. To do this, I developed a concept that commits to using smokers in each of its restaurants and give each menu item the attention it needs to be truly great,” said Anderson. “We are excited to have Sylvia as the newest part of our team and continue to test out new flavors and menu items to ensure we are always delivering on the best barbeque at all of our locations.”

For the remainder of this year, Matzke-Hill will be working closely with Anderson and Clark on different ways to leverage the smoker in the restaurant. Elevating familiar products into unique and innovative offerings will further enhance the cravable meal experience and provide Guests an expanded selection of hand crafted bbq goodness.

“Consumer preferences change – we know this. That’s why we have instilled an active and nimble leadership team in order to make sure we are never staying stagnant, especially with our food,” said Crivello.  “With Sylvia, Dave and Travis working together, we have no doubt that we will be able to provide the best barbeque out there, consistently, across all of our locations.”

Famous Dave's Announces Sylvia Matzke-Hill as New Head of CulinaryFamous Dave’s of America, Inc. (NASDAQ:DAVE) was founded by ‘Famous Dave’ Anderson, whose passion for BBQ led him on a 25-year cross-country trek to find the best regional BBQ recipes in the country before opening the first Famous Dave’s in Hayward, Wisconsin. As of January 16, 2018, Famous Dave’s has 151 locations in 32 states and three countries including 16 company-owned and 135 franchise-operated restaurants. Famous Dave’s is known for its on-premise real pit smokers, scratch-recipe cooking, and 700 national and regional awards for everything from best ribs to best Bar-B-Que sauce to best cookbook. Famous Dave’s offers a wide variety of BBQ favorites including signature award-winning St. Louis-Style Ribs, Texas Beef Brisket, Georgia Chopped Pork, and Country-Roasted Chicken.  Each seasoning blend was personally developed by Dave himself, after years of research and development to bring flavorful and authentic BBQ to his Guests.  Scratch-recipes round out the menu with delicious sides and desserts that include meaty Wilbur Beans, Drunkin’ Apples, and Dave’s Famous Bread Pudding.  For more information, visit famousdaves.com, facebook.com/famousdaves, or follow on Twitter @Famous_Daves.