Pizza Inn parent Rave Restaurant Group upgrades leadership team

The Dallas-based pizza chain operator, which also owns Pie Five, has six new executives in place in preparation for planned expansion.
Rave operates or franchises 24 Pie Five and 112 Pizza Inn units in the U.S. | Photo: Shutterstock.

The parent of the Pizza Inn and Pie Five brands has reshaped its executive team.

Rave Restaurant Group on Tuesday unveiled the addition or promotion of six new executives, which the Dallas-based group described as “a significant upgrade to its leadership team” in preparation for expansion of the two brands.

The buffet concept Pizza Inn is growing again, after 24 years of decline, and the company recorded its 15th profitable quarter at the end of 2023, despite a dip in revenues.

Among the new appointments:

  • Jay Rooney, the former CFO of Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, has joined Rave as CFO. Rooney joined Dickey’s in 2018 and, before that, spent nearly 20 years with Brinker International.

Jay Rooney

Jay Rooney. | All photos courtesy of Rave Restaurant Group.

  • Zack Viljoen was named vice president of operations for Rave and general manager of the Pie Five brand. He served previously as Rave’s senior director of marketing and strategy.

Zack Viljoen

Zack Viljoen. 

  • Denise Wilson joined Rave in January as associate vice president of supply chain. She worked previously with Wingstop, Nothing Bundt Cakes and LSG Sky Chefs, but had also worked with Rave from 2002 to 2013 as senior director of supply chain and customer relations, helping to develop Pie Five.

Denise Wilson

Denise Wilson. 

  • Carlos Cojulun was named marketing director for Pizza Inn. Prior experience includes work with Procter & Gamble, Del Monte Foods and Amgen.

Carlos Conjunlun

Carlos Cojulun. 

  • Roger Mangum joins as director of operations and training, with lead responsibility for operations in Texas and Oklahoma. He will oversee training for both brands.

Roger Mangum

Roger Mangum. 

  • Liam Finn is the new director of franchise development. He served previously as franchise development manager at Driven Brands.

Liam Finn

Liam Finn.

“The collective expertise and vision of these executives promises to usher in a new era of prosperity and innovation for Rave, reinforcing its position as a market leader and paving the way for sustained success,” said Brandon Solano, Rave’s CEO, in a statement. “These team members were handpicked to play pivotal roles in shaping the trajectory of our company. I believe we are poised like never before to drive improved financial performance, scale reimaging efforts and propel store count expansion—setting the stage for unprecedented growth.”

Rave ended the most recent quarter with 112 domestic Pizza Inn units and 18 international restaurants, as well as 24 Pie Five locations.

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