Kona Grill, Inc., an American grill and sushi bar, has promoted Jenny Elkins to vice president of operations and Chris Moran to vice president of food and beverage.
“Jenny and Chris have been a key part of our success and I am confident they possess the skill set required to lead our restaurant operations,” said Berke Bakay, president and CEO of Kona Grill. “Over her past 10 years at Kona Grill, Jenny has played an instrumental role in building this concept through various positions at both the restaurant and corporate level. Chris has done a phenomenal job with new menu development and food cost initiatives that helped drive 8.8% same-store sales growth and significant four wall margin improvement in 2011.”
Elkins and Moran join Berke Bakay, president and CEO, Christi Hing, CFO, and Marci Rude, vice president of development, to form the company’s senior leadership team.
As vice president of operations, Jenny Elkins will oversee the day-to-day restaurant operations, including training, marketing and recruiting. Elkins has been with the company since May 2002 and has been instrumental in the training and development of numerous individuals throughout her career, while delivering solid restaurant-level results. She most recently served as the company’s senior director of training and held several other positions with the company, including district manager, director of training, and general manager. Elkins holds a BS degree in business and communications from Arizona State University.
Chris Moran is a restaurant industry veteran and will be responsible for all food and beverage aspects of restaurant operations. Moran started with Kona Grill in December 2010 as senior director of culinary and purchasing where he has made significant contributions in menu development and food cost control initiatives. Prior to joining Kona Grill, Moran served as corporate executive chef for Redstone American Grill. Moran holds a BS degree in business administration and entrepreneurship from Northeastern University and an AOS degree from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
Kona Grill (NASDAQ: KONA) features American favorites with an international influence and award-winning sushi in a casually elegant atmosphere. Kona Grill owns and operates 23 restaurants, guided by a passion for quality food and personal service. Restaurants are currently located in 16 states: Arizona (Chandler, Gilbert, Phoenix, Scottsdale); Colorado (Denver); Connecticut (Stamford); Florida (Tampa); Illinois (Lincolnshire, Oak Brook); Indiana (Carmel); Louisiana (Baton Rouge); Maryland (Baltimore); Michigan (Troy); Minnesota (Eden Prairie); Missouri (Kansas City); Nebraska (Omaha); Nevada (Las Vegas); New Jersey (Woodbridge); Texas (Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio); Virginia (Richmond). For more information, visit www.konagrill.com.