John Kelly Joins Homestyle Dining As Vice President of Marketing

Kelly Comes Aboard as Parent of Bonanza and Ponderosa Steakhouse Restaurants Ramps Up Rebranding Efforts Including Culinary Revitalization, Refreshed Look and a Focus on Franchise Growth

Kelly joins Homestyle Dining with multi-disciplinary experience in both restaurant operations and agency-side experience.  Most recently, he served as director of marketing for Paciugo Gelato Caffe, which offers authentic Italian gelato and other gelato-inspired offerings in 44 units in 16 states. There he helped reposition the company’s marketing and branding efforts to support the chain’s evolution and growth.

“John’s unique skill set in operations, marketing and franchising will bring significant value to the Bonanza and Ponderosa concepts as we continue to move forward with our rebranding and development efforts,” said Sacco.  “He’s distinctively qualified to support and expand our restaurants and franchising efforts as we bring a more relevant menu and experience to our valued customers.”

Prior to Paciugo Gelato Caffe, Kelly held senior branding and marketing positions at Bar Louie and Pizza Inn and served on the marketing team of Panera Bread.

“I look forward to being instrumental in the future of these two legacy restaurant brands as they grow into a more modern and relevant dining experience,” said Kelly. “Homestyle Dining has a terrific team in place and I am delighted to become a part of it during this this pivotal period.”

In late 2013, Sacco launched the comprehensive rebranding initiative with plans to integrate the enhancements systemwide this year.  Both Bonanza and Ponderosa will offer expanded menu offerings on the food bar and across their entrée line-up to meet the changing needs of today’s guests, who crave longtime favorites and who also want to explore updated, relevant food offerings and even some healthier options.

New entrée menu items include a line of flavored steaks and seafood offerings, plus a completely new appetizer section. “Light ‘N Healthy” menu items will be higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates, with some that are gluten-free.  Interiors will feature a refurbished and redesigned food bar area with eco-friendly plate ware, and will include brighter graphics with vibrant informational signage.

With the rebrand underway, Homestyle Dining will also ramp up franchising efforts in the United States, Canada and internationally for its two legacy brands. Homestyle Dining recently partnered with the International Franchise Association to provide franchising opportunities to veterans, minorities and women.John Kelly Joins Homestyle Dining As Vice President of Marketing

Plano, Texas-based Homestyle Dining LLC owns, operates and franchises over 200 family-focused restaurants throughout the United States and internationally under the Ponderosa Steakhouse ( and Bonanza Steakhouse ( brands.  Guests enjoy flame-grilled steaks and entrees along with a high-quality buffet featuring an endless selection of salads, soups, appetizers, vegetables, and desserts at affordable prices.