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Individuals influencing the direction of the restaurant industry


Papa John’s names Joe Smith CFO

The finance veteran has been with the chain since 2000.


Meet the real-life star of 'Lone Survivor'

If Marcus Luttrell had merely qualified to be a Navy SEAL, served in an Afghani hot zone or written two best-selling books, he'd have an inspiring story to tell. But the drama doesn't end there, as moviegoers are learning from the hit film based on his life, "Lone Survivor." It's the story attendees will hear from Luttrell himself at this year's Restaurant Leadership Conference.

Among the pieces of free advice offered on the first official day of the NRA Show were recommendations from a panel of fast-casual chain executives on fostering leadership. Here are some of the inexpensive ways they suggested to improve a chain’s consumer research, real estate prowess, financial performance and other functions.

At El Pollo Loco’s Southern California headquarters, the staff has adjusted to moving at what it calls “the speed of Sather,” says VP of Marketing Mark Hardison.

Michael Coury will spearhead the menu strategy for the brand’s 178 cafe units.

The former Ignite and Au Bon Pain CEO is “bullish” on the opportunity.

Paul Malazita was named interim CFO to replace Dexter Newman.

The former Krystal CEO will lead the 179-unit Tex-Mex chain.

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