Ovation Brands proudly announced today the appointment of seasoned marketing executive Robert “Rob” Crews as Senior Vice President of Marketing. In this role, Crews will oversee a team of in-house professionals, plus outside agencies responsible for all marketing, advertising and brand management for the entire Ovation Brands portfolio with a particular focus on reinvention efforts underway in the Ryan’s, Old Country Buffet and Hometown Buffet concepts. He will report to Anthony Wedo, Chief Executive Officer.
“Rob has a proven track record of reinvigorating legacy brands,” Wedo said. “Since 2013, Ovation Brands has been in a reinvention phase with updates to our food, service and decor in several key markets. We are now poised to roll systemwide and Rob is just the leader I want on my team to help us reinvent the system and the overall family-buffet category.”
Crews’ responsibilities will include overseeing advertising, merchandising, media buying, consumer insights, research, decor and concept work, new product development, as well as promotions, public relations, and field and local store marketing.
Crews brings to Ovation Brands more than 20 years of consumer marketing experience. He recently served as Executive Vice President – Chief Marketing Officer for Church’s Chicken, where he engineered a turnaround of the brand and helped drive positive domestic system-wide sales results. He also served as Vice President, Marketing – International for The Wendy’s Group, in all countries outside of the U.S. and Canada. He founded C Results Marketing, where he worked with notable brands such as Arby’s and California Pizza Kitchen. Throughout his restaurant and hospitality career, Crews has held a number of marketing executive positions with brands such as Sonny’s Franchise Company, Grill Concepts, Inc., RARE Hospitality, Inc., and Applebee’s.
“I am thrilled to join the team Tony Wedo has built at Ovation Brands,” said Crews. “They are leading the reinvention of the buffet industry with game changing initiatives. I look forward to building strong brands and growing the business.”
Crews holds a B.S. in Economics and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Iowa.
Ovation Brands currently operates 334 restaurants in 35 states, comprised of 324 steak-buffet restaurants and 10 Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse restaurants. The restaurants are principally operated under the Old Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet and Ryan’s brands. Ovation employs over 17,000 team members and serves approximately 100 million customers annually. Corporate headquarters are based in Greer, SC with a Corporate Support Center located in Eagan, MN. For more information, visit www.OvationBrands.com.