True Food Kitchen names a new CEO

true food kitchen burger

Sam Fox’s restaurant group has recruited a high-level executive of Starbucks to serve as CEO of True Food Kitchen in anticipation of completing the health concept’s spinoff next year.

Christine Barone will work with Fox to recast True Food as a standalone company owned principally by the private-equity firm Centerbridge Partners.

She formerly worked as an SVP of Starbucks, with responsibility for the coffee giant’s food, nighttime bar program and licensed stores.

Centerbridge is also the owner of P.F. Chang’s and its fast-casual sister, Pei Wei Asian Diner.

True Food, a concept based on the nutrition philosophy of health guru Andrew Weil, was created by Fox’s Fox Restaurant Concepts, which sold a major stake in the concept to P.F. Chang’s. It has since been developed with funding from Centerbridge.

True Food currently extends to 13 locations in six states, with three more stores slated to open later this year.

Fox is the creator of such concepts as Zinburger, Sauce, Culinary Dropout, Wildflower and Olive & Ivy. His company current operates 49 restaurants under 16 brandnames.

His latest, DoughBird, featuring pizza and rotisserie chicken, is scheduled to open in February.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Restaurants bring the industry's concerns to Congress

Neary 600 operators made their case to lawmakers as part of the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference.


Podcast transcript: Virtual Dining Brands co-founder Robbie Earl

A Deeper Dive: What is the future of digital-only concepts? Earl discusses their work to ensure quality and why focusing on restaurant delivery works.


In the fast-casual sector, Chipotle laps Panera Bread

The Bottom Line: The two fast-casual restaurant pioneers have diverged over the past five years, as the burrito chain has thrived while Panera hit a wall. Here's why.


More from our partners