Black Bear Diner has tapped president and former CFO Anita Adams to succeed co-founder Bruce Dean as CEO. Simultaneously, industry veteran Jeff Guido is joining the family restaurant chain as COO.
Dean will remain active in the company’s operations in the newly created post of executive chairman, the company said.
Adams’ successor as president was not named.
The moves are part of an effort by Black Bear to create an infrastructure to support its rapid growth. The brand has expanded rapidly in recent years from its Pacific Northwest stronghold to encompass 138 restaurants in 14 states.
Both Adams and Guido are alumni of American Blue Ribbon Holdings (ABRH), the parent company of family chains Bakers Square and Village Inn and casual brands O’Charley’s and Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub.
Adams moved over from ABRH to Black Bear in 2017 as CFO. She assumed the additional role of president in March 2019, and then relinquished her CFO title with the hiring of Steve Sparks. She has logged 24 years in the restaurant business.
Guido was president of ABRH’s family division. He brings 40 years of industry experience to his new role at Black Bear.
“Black Bear Diner is now entering its 25th year in business,” Dean said in a statement. “We have grown this brand larger than I ever would have anticipated and hoped for, and there is much more to come. My focus is now on perpetuating the next 25 years.”