Category Archives: Executive Chat

Joe Stein, restaurant innovation and finance pro and author of Bottom-Up and Top-Down Innovation

Joseph Stein

Joe Stein blazed a trail in his career at the 430-unit QSR chain El Pollo Loco when he segued from the CFO role in 2009 to become the company’s first SVP of Strategy and Innovation. Inspired by everything he learned along the way about how companies can successfully innovate, he wrote the book Bottom-Up and…

Executive Chat Featuring Jack Butorac, CEO of Marco’s Pizza

Jack Butorac, CEO of Marco's Pizza

Jack Butorac, former Chi Chi’s executive, has grown Marco’s Pizza from 111 stores when he first joined the company in 2004 to currently 415 stores in 30 states and the Bahamas. There are approximately 1400 stores in the franchise pipeline. RP: What’s new and exciting about Marco’s Pizza? JB: We are growing dramatically and achieving…

Executive Chat with John Eucalitto, President of Jake’s Wayback Burgers

Wayback

Tell me the basic stats of Jake’s Wayback Burgers: how many locations do you have and where? We currently have 70 locations open and operating in the US in 17 states. We have another 63 that are sold and under development, and we have commitments for another 88 internationally. We have one master franchisee who…

Executive Chat featuring Mike Mohammed, CEO and CFO of Chronic Tacos

Michael-Mohammed-Chronic-Tacos-Enterprises

Michael Mohammed is the CEO and CFO of Chronic Tacos Enterprises, a fast-casual franchise based out of San Clemente, CA, with 45 locations and growing. After helping finance the Vancouver franchise location in 2010, Michael and his three brothers acquired the company in 2012. Michael has an extensive background in real estate development, finance and…

Executive Chat with Steve Erickson, president of PDQ

Steve Erickson, president of PDQ

Steve Erickson, president of PDQ and the former senior vice president of national operations for Outback Steakhouse, took a few minutes while preparing for the Cary, NC, opening of PDQ’s tenth location to share his perspective on this unique concept and where it is headed. RP: What makes PDQ different and unique? SE: When you…

Executive Chat with Chris Elliott, CEO of Beef ‘O’Brady’s and The Brass Tap

Chris Elliott, CEO of Beef 'O'Brady's and The Brass Tap

Accomplished restaurant executive Chris Elliott became CEO of FSC Franchise Co., LLC, the Tampa-based parent company for Beef ‘O’Brady’s Family Sports Pubs and the emerging concept The Brass Tap, in March of 2010. What are you most proud of in your work with Beef ‘O’Brady’s? Well, probably the thing I am most proud of is…

Q&A with Kevin Bazner, President and CEO of A&W Restaurants Inc.

Kevin Bazner, President and CEO of A&W Restaurants Inc.

A team filled with its strongest promoters – including long-time leading executive Kevin Bazner and long-time adorable mascot Rooty the Great Root Bear, have recently returned to iconic QSR chain A&W to make a splash at the company known for its signature root beer, floats, frozen treats, burgers, and hot dogs. A&W started in 1919…

Paul Mangiamele, CEO of Bennigan’s Franchising Company

Paul Mangiamele

Caution: CEO Paul Mangiamele’s enthusiasm for Bennigan’s is so strong, it’s infectious. By the time you get to this end of this article, you may be “bleeding green” too. Mangiamele joined Bennigan’s Franchising Company in May 2011. The casual-dining company currently has 47 international stores and 35 domestic stores, including two corporate stores. Mangiamele also…

Nick Vojnovic, President of Little Greek

Nick Vojnovic, president of Little Greek

Little Greek is a 10-unit, fast-growing, fast-casual Greek chain specializing in Greek food, based in Tampa. They just opened their tenth store which is their second Dallas location, and the other eight are in the Tampa Bay area. “I think the Mediterranean Greek niche is poised to explode,” said Little Greek’s president, Nick Vojnovic. “In…

Executive Chat Featuring Kevin Miles, President and COO of Zoe’s Kitchen

Kevin Miles, President and COO of Zoe's Kitchen

Kevin Miles joined the fast-casual concept Zoe’s Kitchen in 2009. The West Texas native has over two decades of experience leading operations and expansion in the restaurant business, primarily with La Madeleine during the 1990′s and Baja Fresh during the 2000′s. “I hate to say I’m a pioneer in fast-casual, but I’ve been around it…