Leadership

Kelly Baltes named Maggiano’s president

The onetime Cheddar’s CEO fills a longstanding vacancy.
Maggiano's Little Italy

Kelly Baltes, a former CEO of Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen and one-time EVP of operations for Red Lobster, has been named president of Maggiano’s Little Italy, Brinker International’s casual Italian concept.

In a 30-year restaurant career, virtually all of it spent in casual dining, Baltes also held high-level operations posts for Olive Garden and Uno Restaurants. Most recently, according to his LinkedIn profile, he headed Good Smoke Restaurant Group, the parent of the Jim 'N Nick’s and Dinosaur barbecue chains.

Baltes spent seven years at Cheddar’s, revamping the concept to focus on its culinary operations. Under his tenure, the concept changed its name to Cheddar’s Scratch Cooking and doubled the size of the chain, rebuilding its management in the process. The concept was sold last year for $780 million to Darden Restaurants, Brinker International’s archrival.

The presidency of Maggiano’s had been vacant since Steve Provost shifted in April 2017 from that post to CMO and head of innovation for Chili’s, Brinker’s core business.

“I have been a longtime admirer and guest of Maggiano's and have a great deal of respect for the culture, hospitality and made-from-scratch Italian-American cuisine," Baltes said in a prepared statement. "I look forward to visiting each restaurant, meeting teammates and working with the leadership teams for continued success of the brand."

Baltes drew attention when he became CEO Of Cheddar’s in 2007 by visiting all of the chain’s restaurants and meeting with every manager within 90 days of his appointment.

Maggiano’s consists of 52 restaurants.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Financing

At Papa Johns, delivery shifts from its own apps to aggregators

The Bottom Line: The pizza delivery chain’s business with companies like Uber Eats and DoorDash is thriving while its own delivery is slowing. But this isn’t the beginning of the end of self-delivery, CEO Rob Lynch says.

Topics

How the shift to counter service has changed Steak n Shake's profitability

The Bottom Line: Sardar Biglari, chairman of the chain’s owner Biglari Holdings, details how the addition of kiosks and counter service has transformed restaurants.

Food

Grand Geneva Resort & Spa's 'Ouisconsin' croissants reflect the state's French legacy

Behind the Menu: Hyper-local Wisconsin ingredients and a three-day baking process turn out pastries that are in high demand by hotel guests.

Trending

More from our partners