Newk’s Eatery announced the hiring of its first chief operating officer Monday, a position created to expand the fast casual’s operations team as it prepares for continued growth.
Joe Pate joins the brand after more than three decades in the industry, including more than 20 years with La Madeleine, where he was most recently vice president of operations.
“I am confident that Joe will be instrumental to the growth and continued success of Newk’s restaurant operations with his exceptional track record and deep-rooted knowledge in restaurant leadership,” Newk’s CEO Chris Newcomb said in a statement. "Joe has proven to excel in building and growing cross-functional teams with both corporate and franchise operations, combining strategic, results-driven programs while also cultivating his passion for great food."
At Newk’s, Pate will oversee both company and franchise operations, as well as catering and operations services. He will focus on performance of new restaurants, food and labor improvements, growth in delivery and catering, and restaurant and menu innovation, the company said.
Jackson, Miss.-based Newk’s Eatery operates and franchises more than 120 restaurants in 16 states. Its menu focuses on salads, sandwiches, pizzas and baked goods.