Chains See Corner Office Changes

Buffalo Wild Wings has a new president, and he’s not from the restaurant industry. Inspire Brands, the umbrella company of the 1,200-unit brand, Rusty Taco, and Arby’s, has named Lyle Tick, managing director for Walgreens Boots Alliance beauty brands business in the Americas, to the post. Tick replaces John Bowie, who had been serving as the chain’s interim president since February, when it was acquired by Arby’s; Bowie resumes his previous role as Buffalo Wild Wing’s chief operating officer. Before working for Walgreens, Tick was based in London as senior global category director for Bacardi, and its president of marketing for North America.


John Maguire, CEO of both Friendly’s and Johnny Rockets, is stepping down from both chains. George Michel, who retired as CEO of Boston Market earlier this year, has been named interim CEO of Friendly’s; the Massachusetts chain has more than 200 locations in 14 states. Johnny Rockets has promoted President Mike Nolan to CEO of the 400-plus unit diner chain. Nolan, who previously also served as CEO of Smashburger for less than a year, has been with California-based Johnny Rockets since August 2017. He was previously the president of Pieology. Maguire spent six years as CEO of Friendly’s—where he oversaw a store redesign—and two years as CEO of Johnny Rockets. Both chains are owned by Sun Capital Partners, and with Maguire’s departure, they are ending the bicoastal CEO position.


The announcement this week that McDonald’s Chief Restaurant Officer/President-International Lead Markets Doug Goare will retire after 40 years with the company has prompted the chain to realign its global executive team in three key segments in 2019. The U.S. division will continue to be led by Chris Kempczinski, as President-McDonald’s USA. Joe Erlinger, currently president of High-Growth Markets, will take on the new title of President-International Operated Markets, which includes company-operated restaurants in countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain and the U.K. Ian Borden, previously president of Foundational Markets, will become president of International Developmental Licensed Markets.


Industry veteran Jim Metevier has joined Mountain Mike’s Pizza in the new position of president and chief operating officer of the nearly 200-unit franchise brand. The Newport Beach, Calif.-based chain says he will oversee franchisee sales, operational systems, brand marketing and guest experience. Metevier, whose resume includes the chief operating officer role at KFC U.S. division, most recently served as president of the Greensboro, N.C.-based Biscuitville Fresh Southern brand. Mountain Mikes, founded in 1978, has franchised units in California, Nevada, Oregon and Utah; it plans to open 20 new units this year.


Rave Restaurant Group, the parent company of Pizza Inn and Pie Five, has tapped Bob Bafundo the company’s president and Andrea Allen its chief accounting and administrative officer. Bafundo joined Dallas-based Rave in 2016 as president of Pizza Inn and now will oversee Rave’s three brands. Rave operates or franchises 300 restaurants through its three brands.

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