FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Triarc Restaurant Group, franchiser of the Arby's(R), T.J. Cinnamons(R) and Pasta Connection(TM) brands, announced today that it has hired U.S. Master Chef Anthony Seta as Vice President of Menu and Product Development. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19981222/FLTU001 ) Seta, 50, a Culinary Institute of America graduate where he has also served as a chef instructor, is one of only 54 U.S. Master Chefs certified by the American Culinary Federation. He was recently featured in Restaurant Hospitality Magazine's "Rising Stars" column and was dubbed a "Midscale Master" by Chain Leader Magazine. In his new role, Seta, most recently Vice President of Research and Development at Perkins Family Restaurants, will support the renewed focus of the system on the creation of new products and the improvement of existing menu items for all three Triarc Restaurant Group brands. "Tony brings more than 30 years of industry experience and an incredibly successful track record to TRG," said Michael Howe, Senior Vice President of Operations for the company. "He's been involved in every aspect of the business, from fine dining to QSR, which uniquely qualifies him to support TRG's high quality fast-food brands." Prior to working at Perkins, Seta held positions with the Black-eyed Pea Restaurants and Kenny Rogers Roasters. He was chef/owner of Tootsies & Tony's Restaurant & Bar in Lexington, KY, and was the first American chef de cuisine in the Mobil four-star The Escoffier Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America. "The TRG brands offer a tremendous variety of food types and flavor profiles -- everything from slow-roasted meat sandwiches and appetizers to lasagna, fettucini alfredo, fresh-baked gourmet cinnamon rolls and flavored coffees, all at quick-serve speed and pricing," said John Vanderslice, Senior Vice President of New Concepts at TRG. "It's anything but typical fast food and Tony's background is anything but typical for a fast-food environment. His research and development experience, coupled with his culinary skills, which includes work in the baking and Italian food arenas, will enable us to continue to develop and offer fast-food menus that are a cut-above." The first Arby's Restaurant opened 35 years ago in Youngstown, Ohio, serving 69-cent roast beef sandwiches, potato chips and iced tea. Today, more than 3,100 Arby's worldwide offer slow-roasted beef, ham and turkey sandwiches, a complete chicken menu, subs and light fare. Within the Arby's system, 320 restaurants are co-branded with T.J. Cinnamons Classic Bakeries, while 38 restaurants are co-branded with Pasta Connection. Five Arby's Restaurants offer all three menus. "I like where Triarc Restaurant Group is going with all three of its brands," said Seta. "Their strategy is right on target with dining trends for the future. All three offer quality and taste, which is unique to fast food. And while Arby's is an established brand and T.J. Cinnamons and Pasta Connection are relatively new concepts, each has a strong identity and tremendous menu potential." Triarc Restaurant Group, a subsidiary of Triarc Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRY), franchises more than 3,100 single-and co-branded restaurants worldwide, which serve great-tasting, high-quality food in a quick-service environment. Systemwide sales for 1998 were $2.2 billion.