Former Cheesecake president takes helm of 24-unit regional chain

Former The Cheesecake Factory and Cooper’s Hawk President Peter D’Amelio has been named the first-ever president of the 24-unit Not Your Average Joe’s regional casual-dining chain.

D’Amelio will oversee all day-to-day operations, including marketing, food and beverage, human resources and purchasing, NYAJ founder and CEO Steve Silverstein said in making the announcement.

Silverstein indicated that he will focus on site selection, design and strategy.

D’Amelio joins the high-volume concept after serving as CEO of Matchbox Food Group, a multiconcept operation in Washington, D.C. Its operations include Matchbox, a wood-fired-pizza chain; Ted’s Bulletin, self-described as a “classic shake joint” featuring tomato soup and grilled cheese; and DC-3, an aviation-themed hot dog station in Virginia’s Dulles International Airport. The company revealed today that it intends to sell Ted’s, the most upscale of its concepts.

D’Amelio had been named to the CEO’s job in late 2016, amid a change in control of the concern.

Before joining Matchbox as COO, D’Amelio had served as president and COO of Cooper’s Hawk, the polished-casual chain known for its wine service and wine club.

He also logged four years as president of Great American Restaurants, another multiconcept operator in the Washington, D.C. area.

Earlier, he spent 17 years with Cheesecake Factory, rising from manager to president and COO.

D’Amelio started his restaurant career as a bartender for TGI Fridays.

His appointment is the latest in a flurry of high-level executive changes at multiconcept operations in recent weeks. On Monday, SBE Group, the parent of Cleo, Katsuya and The Bazaar by Jose Andres, announced it had appointed Daniel del Olmo CEO of its Disruptive Restaurant Group and Umami Burger. Del Olmo was the one-time president of DineEquity’s international division. 

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