Ryan had served as chief concept officer for Smashburger since its founding in 2007, the chain said. Prior to that, he held branding and product development positions at restaurants including Quiznos, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut.
“As we set an aggressive growth pace, maintaining the integrity of the Smashburger brand is paramount," co-founder Rick Schaden said in a statement. “There is no better person than Tom to guide the evolution of the Smashburger brand as we enter this next phase of growth at home and abroad.”
Last week, Smashburger said it had promoted Chief Development Officer Michael Nolan to CEO, filling the position vacated by Scott Crane.