Restaurant Chain People Report 11/1/13

Mama Fu’s announced the addition of John Hester to the corporate team as the Chief Financial Officer.  Joining the Mama Fu’s executive team with over fifteen years of experience in all aspects of the foodservice industry, Hester adds dynamic leadership skills, a deep understanding of the industry, and proven track record implementing operational and sales strategies.

Robin Muller, who has led restaurant operations for three decades with several leading multi-unit brands, has joined Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill as Senior Vice President of Operations.  Muller most recently held senior operations posts at California Pizza Kitchen and Macaroni Grill – both owned by parent Golden Gate Capital. She oversaw 60 CPK restaurants and seven Area Directors as Regional Vice President, and before that, 78 Macaroni Grill restaurants and nine operations leaders as a Regional Director.

Tom Porfiris has been promoted to Senior Director of Operations for Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill.  Porfiris joined Smokey Bones as Director of Operations three years ago from Lone Star Steakhouse, where he served as a District Manager.

Larry Reinstein has stepped down as Salsarita’s president and chief operating officer.  Reinstein joined the chain in 2011 after leading the acquisition team of the fast-casual chain. He is credited with refining the brand’s positioning, building a new organization and developing a new prototype to allow for fast and focused growth.

Schlotzsky’s added industry veteran Brian Farris as its new Vice President of Catering and Off-Premise Sales. Farris brings 25 years of financial and operational experience in the restaurant industry, working with well-known brands such as Quiznos and Boston Market.

Long John Silver’s has named Brian Scantland, Vice President Planning and Performance Improvement. While in leadership roles with YUM! Brands and 7-Eleven Incorporated, Scantland produced growth in areas of product development, supply chain, brand positioning, operational execution and product cost structures.

Keith Moody has joined Newk’s Eatery as Territory Director of Franchise Operations for the fresh casual restaurant concept. Moody has been in franchise restaurant operations for more than twenty years and will apply his extensive skills and knowledge to assist in Newk’s rapid expansion.

Russo’s Restaurants, which includes Russo’s New York Pizzeria as well as Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, has appointed Alfred Naddaff as its national franchise development director.  Naddaff will work closely with prospective and existing franchisees to explore single and multi-unit ownership, discover potential sites for Russo’s restaurants and manage Russo’s franchising initiatives in the United States.

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill has added a bold new twist to its corporate menu with the hiring of Stephen Loftis as vice president of marketing.  In addition to his former role as vice president of marketing for Café Enterprises, Inc. (Fatz Café, Tavern 24 and Tablefields), Loftis has represented iconic brands in the hospitality and restaurant industry such as Marriott, the W Hotel, Spa Sydell, BI-LO, Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins.

Industry veteran Bobby Shaw has joined Freebirds World Burrito as Senior Vice President of Operations. In this role, Bobby will oversee more than 90 Freebirds World Burrito locations across seven states and support the growth of the brand through strategic planning initiatives and profit management best practices.

New England-based casual dining restaurant chain Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub announced that its Vice President of Operations, Charlie Noyes, will succeed the retiring John Grady as president of the company. Noyes has been a proven leader and talented operator for the company over the last three decades.

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.