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Individuals influencing the direction of the restaurant industry


Fresh from bankruptcy, TooJay’s Deli looks for a CEO

Former Uno Restaurants CEO Jim Ilaria, a candidate for the job, is serving as the fast casual’s interim chief.


Top newsmakers of 2020

The humans, “innovations” and creepy things that sopped up headline ink for the restaurant industry this year.

Rick Cardenas will move up to president and COO of Darden Restaurants while Raj Vennam will become CFO.

Melissa Smith was named chief people officer for Focus; Kendall Ware was named chief brand officer of Carvel and Cinnabon; and Alisa Gmelich was named chief brand officer for Auntie Anne’s.

The former director of the National Restaurant Association was 75.

Randy DeWitt has been succeeded as CEO by Jack Gibbons, and the company has been recast into a venture called FB Society

He assumes the job from CEO Kent Taylor, who said the move will free him to focus on new business endeavors for the company.

Carissa De Santis joined the barbecue chain last year and led a redesign of the brand’s e-commerce site during the pandemic

CEO Niren Chaudhary, who joined the chain months before the pandemic hit, said it is still possible to foster a productive team atmosphere without face-to-face meetings.

He will head a newly formulated board for the luxury retailer, which has just emerged from bankruptcy.

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