Jerry Comstock is an accomplished Senior Executive with more than 40 years of professional experience, 17 in restaurants, and covering the retail, automotive, and restaurant industries. Leveraging extensive experience in franchising and operations, Jerry is a valuable asset for a company looking to grow, or in need of operational help with turnaround. His broad areas of expertise include M&A, strategic planning, business growth development, negotiation, P&L, turnaround, franchising, retail, and automotive. Throughout his executive career, Jerry has held leadership positions with TGI Fridays, Strategic Restaurants Acquisitions Corp, Treco LLC, Wherehouse Entertainment, Bennigan’s Restaurants, Autonation, Blockbuster Entertainment, and National Convenience Stores. In his current role as COO of TGI Fridays, he’s been brought on to revitalize the brand domestically, implemented an operational scorecard, establishing guest and operational metrics for all domestic franchise and company restaurants, as well as renegotiated all defaulted franchise agreements, establishing reimage schedules and development schedules for the next ten years. Also as Owner and CEO of Strategic, the company purchased 16 TGI Friday’s restaurants through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. He grew the company to 296 Burger Kings and to 27 TGI Fridays with Total Sales of $418 million and EBITDA of $28 million, eventually becoming the 2nd largest Burger King Franchise, the 7th largest US restaurant franchise, and the 80th largest restaurant franchise in the world. He was awarded TGIF Franchisee of the year and the Burger King Brand Leadership Award.
Rick Colón is the former President of the East Division of McDonald’s USA. In this role, Rick leads all aspects of market and brand development to drive long-term growth for more than 5,200 McDonald’s restaurants generating over 16 Billion in revenue in the Eastern United States. He was promoted to this position in August 2012. Most recently, Rick led operations, deployment and execution for the East Division as Senior Vice President and Restaurant Support Officer. In that role, he also oversaw talent development of regional field officers, collaborating with them to improve alignment and consistent execution through the restaurants. With more than 38 years of experience in the McDonald’s System, both on the franchisee and corporate side, Rick is a proven people person, who has been very successful at developing his staff and challenging them to go that extra mile to improve results driven leader. He is passionate about people and is responsible for Director Development.
Kensinger brings more than 35 years of experience to the Johnny Rockets team. Prior to joining the company, Kensinger held the position of Executive Vice President at Catalina Restaurant Group, parent company of Coco’s Bakery Restaurants and Carrows Restaurants. While there, Kensinger primarily oversaw operations and training and supervised the development and implementation of numerous improvements including food and labor management systems. He also supervised the Information Technology, Facilities & Development, and Human Resources departments.
Peter Hegele is a 30 year Restaurant, Bar, Nightclub, Hospitality and Franchising professional. The last 15 years have been served in an executive capacity. He has also provided consulting services to dozens of clients over the past three years. He is a strategic thinker, leader & innovator able to evaluate, analyze, assess and implement problem-solving strategies. Peter has a demonstrated background in executive vision, Restaurant / Bar / Catering / Nightclub operations leadership, franchising, franchise sales & development, franchise relations, people development, strategic planning, P&L results and performance, Real Estate & Site Selection, and successful revenue and profit generation. He is an executive with proven results in growing, as well as established environments. He has also been actively involved in concept and brand creation. Currently, Peter is Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Landmark Leisure Group/Support Center Services, LLC with a number of various DBA’s. He was recruited to lead operations for this 23 multi-concept restaurant, bar and night club organization operating as, but not limited to, Blackfinn Ameripub, Blackfinn American Grille, Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina, BlackFinn American Saloon, Whisky River and Strike City Bowl among others; with up to four new restaurants and locations scheduled to open in 2017. He provides oversight and leadership of operations, field sales & marketing and Learning & Development platform. He works intimately with ownership (CEO) to strategically execute executive vision for organizational operations, growth and development. Prior to his current role, Peter served as Vice President of Operations, Franchise Sales & Relations for Buffalo Wild Wings International Inc. He was accountable for achieving short and long-term company and shareholder objectives, to improve sales and profits of restaurants by monitoring compliance of standards, spearheading operational improvements to increase guest satisfaction and decrease costs, all while protecting the integrity of brand. His team monitored the compliance of franchise agreements and protecting BWW contractual rights with franchisees. He was responsible for the Franchise Sales and Development process. While in his role, he directed and coordinated the acquisition/transition (M&A) of a 9 unit franchise company into the BWW corporate owned restaurant base. Peter had direct oversight for the entire Franchise Field Operations and Franchise Relations team supporting 110+ Franchisees and 360+ franchise units, comprised of three Directors of Operations, twelve Field Consultants and four Field Operations Specialists. At the time, top line revenues were $850MM and Royalty Revenue was $41MM+. He was also responsible to oversee operations for 35 company owned units and the future growth in six geographic markets. The total P&L accountability for these units eclipsed $81,000,000 in annualized top line sales.
Michael Dean has over 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry working through all levels of an organization. Currently he is the Chief Operating Officer for a mid size restaurant company in expansion mode. In that role he is part of a committee for location selection, development and financial modeling. He has worked in large organizations like Darden in his past and contributed to many aspects of the company's growth and new development projects. He has lead companies in some of the toughest operating areas in the country like California- LA, SF specifically and Chicago. He has experience operating restaurants throughout the United States and has opened restaurants in several states. He has served on committee focused on national marketing and advertising and leads the marketing team in his current role.
Phil Crawford has served as Shake Shack’s Vice President of Information Technology since June 2014. Mr. Crawford has over 15 years of restaurant information technology experience. Prior to joining Shake Shack, Mr. Crawford was the Chief Information Officer of My Fit Foods. While at My Fit Foods, Mr. Crawford was instrumental in restructuring the information technology department, introducing and developing new technologies to the growing healthy meal chain. Prior to My Fit Foods, Mr. Crawford was the Chief Information Officer of Yard House Restaurants, where he formed and led the Information Technology department. During his tenure, he spearheaded all of the technological innovations and initiatives as well as assisted with the expansion from four units when he began to over forty five units when Yard House was acquired by Darden Restaurants, Inc. Mr. Crawford began his career in the hospitality and restaurant industry early on, where he has held several managerial and senior positions within the respective sector throughout the years. Mr. Crawford attained his MBA and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration.