More C-suite changes come to Perkins parent

Executive Summary: Plus, Sunny Street Cafe promotes a veteran leader to president and more restaurant industry leadership shifts.
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery is among restaurants adding new leaders. | Photo: Shutterstock

Here are the latest executive moves in the restaurant industry:

The parent of the Perkins Restaurant & Bakery family-dining chain has appointed Toni Ronayne president of the brand and named Steven Roach chief technology officer of the whole company. Ascent Hospitality Management is also the parent of the Huddle House family-focused chain, which named Blain Shortreed as president in December. Both chain chiefs report to Ascent CEO James O’Reilly, who moved to his post in June, after serving as CEO of the Smokey Bones fast-casual concept.

Toni Ronayne cropped Photo courtesy of Ascent.png

Toni Ronayne | Photo courtesy of Ascent Hospitality Management

Ronayne was formerly Canadian managing director for Little Caesars.

Roach comes to Ascent from Focus Brands, where he was SVP and chief information officer. Focus is the franchisor of Moe’s, McAlister’s Deli, Auntie Anne’s, Jamba, Schlotzsky’s, Carvel and Cinnabon.

Mike Stasko Jr.

Mike Stasko Jr., Sunny Street Cafe | Photo courtesy of Sunny Street Cafe

Breakfast-and-lunch concept Sunny Street Cafe elevated Mike Stasko Jr. to president of the 22-unit chain. Stasko has led multiple departments since Sunny Street’s debut.


Ryan Hux has been named chief operating officer of Porano Pasta, a fast-casual concept developed by chef Gerard Craft of Niche Food Group. Known for customizable pasta and grain bowls, salads and Detroit-style pizza, Porano Pasta was first opened by Craft between 2016 and 2018, then closed. Craft is now reintroducing the brand in St. Louis, Mo., with plans for growth.

‌Hux’s previous experience includes a decade with Shake Shack and work with the Raising Cane’s brand.

‌“We are bringing back Porano with expansion in mind,” said Craft in a statement. “Ryan’s extensive experience opening fast-casual restaurants and his people-focused leadership style make him the perfect fit for what we’re hoping to accomplish.”


John Andrews has been promoted to chief operating officer of TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants (TSFR). The Livonia, Mich.-based company’s portfolio includes 61 Applebee’s locations, 19 Olga’s Kitchen restaurants, four Olga’s Fresh Grilles, eight Olga’s host kitchens, 12 MOD Pizza restaurants and 55 Wendy’s locations. Andrews previously served as SVP of the company’s casual-dining division.

Tarah Freestone is the new vice president of operations for Louisville, Ky.-based Biscuit Belly. The company did not share her bio but said she has more than 15 years experience working with emerging and established brands in the restaurant space.

Dan Dalton is the new executive chef for The Ryder Hotel and sister property Emeline, leading all on-site eateries, which are run by the hospitality company Makeready, based in Charleston, S.C. Dalton will oversee concepts like Little Palm and Frannie & The Fox. He replaces chef Tim Morton, who is shifting focus to new openings for Makeready restaurants. Dalton most recently served as culinary director and executive chef at Harbor View Hotel in Martha’s Vineyard, and executive chef at The Olde Farm Golf Club in Bristol, Va.

The Venetian restaurant Saint Theo’s in New York City has named Robert Hartman as chef de cuisine. Hartman’s experience includes work at the famed restaurants Eleven Madison Park, where he was chef de partie, and he worked with Thomas Keller Restaurant Group and Saison Hospitality Group before working as a private chef.

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