Ray Risley, a former president of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group and its high-end Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House chain, has been hired by Front Burner Restaurant Group as president and COO of its Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar brand.
In announcing the hire, Front Burner cited Risley’s experience in building a management team and fostering a culture that enables employees to “adapt, evolve and thrive.”
“Ray’s strength in growing brands through investment in team is unique and we are excited to have his exceptional leadership at the helm as we grow Whiskey Cake into a nationally recognized brand,” Front Burner CEO Jack Gibbons said in a statement.
The multi-concept company also noted Risley’s passion for gardening, suggesting his personal interest aligns with Whiskey Cake’s farm-to-fork sourcing.
“This is a perfect marriage of my personal and professional passions,” Risley said in the announcement.
Risley spent nearly 21 years at Del Frisco’s, operator of the Double Eagle, Del Frisco’s Grille, Bartaco and Barcelona. The company was acquired last year by the private-equity company L Catterton, which kept Bartaco and Barcelona and immediately spun off pieces of Double Eagle and Del Frisco’s Grille to Landry’s Restaurant Group.
Whiskey Cake, a concept created by Twin Peaks and Rockfish Grill founder Randy DeWitt, lists nine current locations on its website.
Risley’s recruitment is the latest high-level appointment by Front Burner. Earlier this year, the company named casual-dining veteran Jeff Carcara president of its Sixty Vines concept.
The company also operates Mexican Sugar, Ida Claire, The Ranch, Haywire and Legacy Hall, a food hall concept.