FALL 2020 Operators
Cafe RioDouglas Henriquez Director of Culinary & Kitchen Operations
Cafe Rio Mexican Grill is a fast-casual restaurant chain that has won over 60 awards and was most recently ranked the number one Quick Serve Mexican Restaurant in the Nation, for the third year in a row! Every one of our meals is made right in front of our customers eyes, nothing is prepackaged or frozen, everything is made from scratch every day. Lots of people like to say they’re fresh, but we back up our words by squeezing 1,000 limes a day, hand cutting avocados, chopping tomatoes and having no microwaves or freezers in any of our restaurants. We opened our first location in 1997 in St George, Utah and now have over 127 locations in 13 States. We are serious about creating future leaders, culinary all stars and making the world a tastier planet.
CinnabonJennifer Holwill Executive Chef
From its start in Seattle’s Sea Tac Mall in 1985, the Cinnabon brand has grown into a worldwide phenomenon with unmatched crave appeal, serving baked goods such as the famous Classic Roll, Minibon, Cinnabon Bites, Caramel Pecanbon, CinnaPacks and Cinnabon Stix -- all made with our signature Makara Cinnamon - as well as specialty beverages like the Mochalatta Chill and various flavors of Chillattas frozen beverages. And after 25 years of making the world's best cinnamon rolls, Cinnabon has kicked off the next 25 years and beyond by introducing the world's best cupcakes - moist, irresistible, high-quality and worthy of the Cinnabon name.
Corelife EateryLisa Caveny Director of Food & Menu Development
We’ve created CoreLife Eatery to bring clean, healthy and great tasting foods to everyone every day. We feature hearty bowls that are complete meals featuring greens, grains and bone broths. All of our ingredients are free of GMO’s, trans fats, artificial colors, sweeteners and other artificial additives. Our chicken and steak are sustainably raised, and never given antibiotics or hormones. We buy local when and where we can. We believe that hiring local team members to prepare our food, and paying them well, is better than having it come “ready to eat” from a manufacturing plant across the country.
CosiSteven Grover EVP, Purchasing & Development
With restaurant locations in 13 states, the District of Columbia, and Costa Rica, Cosi offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and coffee menus full of fresh, flavorful foods and beverages. At the heart of every Cosi restaurant is an open-flame stone-hearth oven where we bake our signature flatbread throughout the day from a generations-old recipe.
Dunkin' BrandsMichael Brazis Director of Global Culinary Innovation
Dunkin' Brands Inc. is one of the world's leading franchisors of quick service restaurants (QSR) serving hot and cold coffee and baked goods, as well as hard-serve ice cream. The Dunkin' Brands 100% franchise global business model includes more than 11,700 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants and more than 7,600 Baskin-Robbins restaurants. Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. is headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts.
Fogo de ChaoLynne Wildman Vice President of Supply Chain Management
Fogo de Chão is a leading Brazilian steakhouse, or churrascaria, which has specialized for nearly 40 years in fire-roasting high-quality meats utilizing the centuries-old Southern Brazilian cooking technique of churrasco. Here at Fogo, we complement our extraordinary service with extraordinary people. Fogo offers guests a wide variety of simply seasoned meats that are carefully fire-roasted to expose their natural flavors. The company was founded in 1979 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and expanded into the U.S. in 1997. There are currently over 50 locations throughout Brazil, the United States, Mexico and the Middle East.
FSC Franchise CoStan Dorsey Director of Menu Development & Executive Chef
FSC Franchise Co., doing business as Beef 'O' Brady's, The Brass Tap, and a new concept called The Hatchery, owns and operates over 200 restaurants. Beef ‘O’ Brady’s offers starters, wings, burgers, fresh salads, wraps, sandwiches, desserts, and beverages, as well as provides grilled cheese, chicken tacos, cheese quesadilla, black angus cheeseburgers, and chicken tenders. The Brass Tap is a craft beer bar also serving wine and liquor. It offers upscale bar food like sharables, gourmet blend burgers, flat breads, and street tacos. The Hatchery is a new fast casual chicken concept with the first location opening in Tampa.
Garbanzo Mediterranean FreshJames Park CEO
The taste of Mediterranean cuisine was too good to keep hidden across the world. Armed with recipes from his family, our founder set out to bring those authentic flavors all the way to America. We opened our first restaurant in Colorado, where our fresh food fit perfectly with the simple, yet adventurous lifestyle. Since opening, we’ve been serving our guests that authentic, healthy, no-fuss flavor that Garbanzo is known for. We put as much thought into our company culture as we do our food. That’s how the Garbanzo team became a family of like-minded individuals with a passion for all things fresh and simple.
Golden Tree RestaurantsJason Sullivan Corporate Executive Chef
Golden Tree Restaurants include successful chains such as Golden Chick™ which operates approximately 200 locations across 4 states in the U.S. and has been averaging over 22+ locations added per year for the past 4 years. Other members of our thriving Golden Tree family of modern restaurants include many Texas favorites: Fireside Pies™, Happy Taco Bar™, Heff's Burgers™, Jalapeño Tree™, JC's Burger House™, JC's Burger Bar™, Texadelphia™, Lola’s Handcrafted Sandwiches and State 28 Grill.
Jason's DeliBrandon Hudson Corporate Executive Chef
Ed Wahlenmaier Purchasing Director
As an independent, family-owned business serving guests at 275 delis in 28 states, Jason’s Deli has the freedom to do the right thing, every day. A lot of thought goes into what is put in their food, and what is taken out of it. Being the first national chain to remove partially hydrogenated oil from its menu in 2005, healthy and tasty go hand-in-hand at Jason’s Deli. Since then, artificial colors, artificial flavors, MSG, and high fructose corn syrup have also been removed. Seeing guests and employees as family, Jason’s Deli strives to provide the same quality meals in their delis as they do in their homes.
Jim ‘N Nick’s Community BBQCharity Anderson-Bush VP, Purchasing & Distribution
Jim ‘N Nick’s started cooking pork “low and slow” in 1985 when Nick and his dad Jim, reclaimed an old pizza parlour in Birmingham, AL where they opened the first Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q. Thirty years later, with 34 restaurants in 7 states, Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q has become a Southern institution. Jim 'N Nick's specializes in Hickory Smoked BBQ and Southern Food in a made-from-scratch, fresh daily kitchen. We are proud to say we don't have freezers. For us it's about great food and technique rooted in tradition and hospitality that reflects our care for our staff and our guests with friendly service and Southern Hospitality.
Luby’s FuddruckersSarah Guest Director of Supply Chain
Luby’s Cafeterias was founded in 1947 in San Antonio, Texas with a mission to be the most innovative and successful cafeteria company in America. By serving customers convenient, great-tasting, home-style meals at an excellent value in a friendly environment. Fuddruckers still holds true to its original mission: to deliver quality and in-your-face freshness and inspiring guests to build their own World’s Greatest Burger Experience since 1980. Fuddruckers is known for its lively atmosphere, 100% fresh, never frozen, all American grilled-to-order beef, scratch-made buns and market fresh produce.
McAlister’s DeliWilliam Eudy Corporate Executive Chef
Founded in 1989, McAlister’s Deli® is a fast-casual restaurant chain known for its genuine hospitality, sandwiches, spuds, soups, salads, desserts and McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea™. In addition to dine-in and take-out service, McAlister’s restaurants also offer catering with a selection of sandwich trays, box lunches, desserts, a hot spud bar and more. With numerous industry accolades, the McAlister's Deli brand has more than 400 restaurants in 28 states. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga.
Pizza FactoryBryan Ross Food & Beverage Director
MaryKay Haas Marketing Director
Founded more than 30 years ago, Pizza Factory has become well known for serving fresh, high-quality, hand-tossed pizza, sandwiches, salads and more, with everything made on-site. The brand is also widely recognized for its close community connection, which includes its iconic “No Bully Zone” program and impactful fundraising partnerships. Currently, there are 100 locations based in six states throughout the West Coast. Pizza Factory is looking to add additional franchise locations in key markets throughout the country, with a special focus on Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and California.
Shari’sSam Borgese CEO
Operated by Shari's Management Corporation of Beaverton, Oregon, Shari's Restaurants are designed to provide high quality, reasonably priced meals 24/7/365 in a comfortable environment. Shari's menu features a wide variety of menu selections that focus on Shari’s food mantra of providing Fresh, Regional & Seasonal foods whenever possible. Shari's has continued to open new restaurants, now operating 93 restaurants throughout the Western U.S., primarily in Oregon and Washington. Shari's employs over 3,500, and with food revenues in excess of $160 million; making it the largest privately held restaurant chain in Oregon.
SPB HospitalityLuis Haro Sr. Director of Culinary
SPB Hospitality is the leading operator and franchisor of steakhouses brewery and craft-beer focused casual dining restaurants in the US, with hundreds of locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia and abroad in Taiwan. The company is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. The three largest brands operated by SPB Hospitality include: Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, Logan’s Roadhouse, and Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery.
Tropical Smoothie CaféLake Dawson Chef
Sara Burnett Director of Strategic Sourcing & Procurement
Ryan Staver Director of Supply Chain
Tropical Smoothie Café has over 800 franchise locations in more than 44 states. We’ve always been guided by this one simple belief: when you eat better, you feel better and when you feel better - all is better. It's why our mission is to inspire a healthier lifestyle by serving amazing food and smoothies with a bit of tropical fun.