Veteran finance and operating executive Michael W. Kramer has joined SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza as a partner. Kramer brings financial expertise and extensive experience in both the retail and restaurant industries to the growing “premium fast casual” concept.
Prior to joining SPIN!, Kramer served as CFO of Apple Retail, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Einstein/Noah Bagel; CEO and President of Kellwood and, most recently, COO of JC Penney. Earlier in his career, he served in financial leadership roles for PepsiCo/Pizza Hut and Gateway. He was named 2009 Entrepreneur of the Year for Missouri by the Business and Advisory Council.
Named a 2013 “Breakout Brand” by industry authority Nation’s Restaurant News, SPIN! is preparing to open its sixth Kansas City location and has signed two franchisees in California. SPIN! has been named one of the “Rest of the 101 Best Restaurants” in the nation by top foodie website TheDailyMeal.com, its Margherita Pizza was crowned one of the nation’s best dishes of the year by a trade magazine, it’s ranked number one by Zagat among Kansas City pizza restaurants, and its architecture won Best of Show at the Mid America Design Awards.
Kramer’s new position as an equity partner in SPIN! reunites him with the executives he helped to turn local bagel shops into a national concept. SPIN! founders Gail and Richard Lozoff and Edwin Brownell also developed Bagel & Bagel, which started in Kansas City, Mo. and became Einstein Bros. Bagels.
“I stayed in touch with Ed over the years and watched SPIN! evolve,” Kramer says. “Over the years, I have worked with some amazing creative and operational talent. I have to say, Ed and Gail are some of the very best in their respective areas. So, as I was thinking about investing in SPIN!, conversations turned to the possibility of me joining them operationally as well as from an ownership perspective. I love working with Gail and Ed and look forward to building SPIN! to the next level with them.”
In his position as a partner in SPIN! Concepts, Inc., Kramer, a Certified Public Accountant, will be responsible for financial operations and strategy including finance, supply chain, human resources, and franchise operations.
SPIN! currently has two franchisees. Hofman Hospitality Group plans to open 37 SPIN! restaurants throughout Southern California during the next 10 years. Parker Hospitality Group has an agreement to open five restaurants in 7 years in the San Francisco Bay Area’s San Mateo County with an option to open another five in Santa Clara County.
“I think SPIN! is a great candidate for national roll-out but we want to take our time and do it right. We are not going to rush the evolution of the brand,” Kramer says. “SPIN!’s California franchisees are experienced restaurateurs who share our commitment to quality of product and experience. Our plan is to find additional seasoned operators to franchise SPIN! in markets that we believe would be advantageous for local ownership.”
SPIN! is known for its exceptional, artisan food made from fresh ingredients without the gourmet price, its eclectic, affordable premium wines and its community involvement. The menu is created in collaboration with James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Smith.
In addition to its wines and artisan menu, SPIN! is recognized for its pioneering hybrid service model, which combines traditional fast casual ordering in the restaurant’s lobby with a robust full service experience at the table. The “premium fast casual” system is appealing to diners who want to control the speed of their meal without sacrificing service.
“I’m enamored with the ‘premium fast casual’ category of restaurants,” Kramer says. “People are tired of the ‘old casual’ dining. This new category puts the customer in control of their experience. In my opinion, it’s the best of both worlds.”
“What Gail and Ed have created is second to none. The product is amazing. The atmosphere is hip and has energy. And of course, I love the pizza and salads!”
For Kramer, who started his career in Kansas City, his return is “sort of like coming back home.”
SPIN! partner Gail Lozoff says that they are thrilled to welcome back Kramer because they believe he is the perfect partner to help SPIN! grow. “Not only does he bring a wealth of financial and operating skill and experience to SPIN!, but he understands our culture and brand and shares our vision of how to maintain our emphasis on excellence. We are so fortunate that he is investing his time, energy and knowledge in SPIN!”
For information, please visit www.spinpizza.com.
Award-winning SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza is known for its exceptional, artisan food made from fresh ingredients without the gourmet price and its eclectic, affordable premium wines. Named a 2013 Breakout Brand by industry authority Nation’s Restaurant News, SPIN! was named one of the “Rest of the 101 Best Restaurants” in the nation by top foodie website TheDailyMeal.com. Its Margherita Pizza was crowned one of the nation’s best dishes of the year by Restaurant Business magazine, its architecture won Best of Show at the Mid America Design Awards, and it was named a “Top 100 Movers and Shakers” by Pizza Marketplace. Ranked number one by Zagat among Kansas City pizza restaurants, it has been named best pizza by every major Greater Kansas City publication. SPIN!’s menu is created in collaboration with James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Smith. Founded in 2005, SPIN! has five locations with a sixth under construction in the Greater Kansas City area and franchises in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. This is the second national concept created by SPIN! partners Gail and Richard Lozoff, Edwin Brownell, and Michael Kramer, who are experienced in large multi-unit expansion, franchising, and operations. www.spinpizza.com.