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Ned Lidvall tapped to head O’Charley’s

Ned Lidvall has been named president of the O’Charley’s casual-dining chain, parent company American Blue Ribbon Holdings announced this morning.

Lidvall is a 30-plus-year veteran of the chain restaurant business, having served as CEO of several brands as well as the chief executive of a multi-concept franchisee, Eat Here Brands, his most recent job. The concepts operated by Eat Here, which Lidvall co-founded, includes the high-volume Babalu casual brand and Five Guys Burgers & Fries.

His previous positions include the top executive jobs at Friendly Ice Cream Corp., parent of the Friendly’s family chain, and Rock Bottom Restaurants, the operator of Rock Bottom brewpubs and Old Chicago pizza-and-beer restaurants.

“Ned is an experienced and proven leader in our industry who will be able to harness O’Charley’s considerable momentum to take it to new exciting heights,” said Hazem Ouf, president and CEO of ABRH. “Ned not only knows what it takes for restaurants and team members to be successful, but he also understands the O’Charley’s brand and the guests we cater to."

Lidvall assumes the president’s responsibilities from Ouf, who had held the job since ABRH acquired O’Charley’s in 2012. ABRH is updating the concept with a new look. Half the stores have been re-imaged, with the remainder scheduled to get the update by the end of 2017.

O'Charley's currently consists of 214 restaurants, of which 207 are company-owned and managed.

ABRH is also the parent company of Ninety Nine, Max & Erma’s, Village Inn and Bakers Square. It is based in Nashville, Tenn.

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