GREER, S.C., Aug. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ovation® Brands, the nation's largest steak-buffet restaurant company, announced a change in operations leadership and corporate structure as the brand prepares to rollout its reinvention to the entire system. Seasoned restaurant pros George Wooten and Pete Pascuzzi, who have been spearheading re-concepting efforts across the enterprise in executive leadership capacities, will be assuming new roles as Divisional Chiefs for the Buffet and Ryan's® brands, respectively and both will report to Chief Operating Officer Greg Graber.
"Our teams have been hard at work to ensure the success of the Main Street and Ryan's Southern Family Goodness initiatives in our test markets and the results have been impressive. From double digit sales increases to dramatic jumps in guest perception scores, we know we have tapped into something pretty special," said Anthony Wedo, CEO for Ovation Brands. "Both of these reinventions are critical to our overall success and both deserve dedicated leadership to ensure continued success and the very highest levels of operational execution. George and Pete have been serving on the forefront of these efforts since they joined the team and both have demonstrated leadership and results. They are the right operators to help me fast track the rollout of reinvention in both the Buffets and Ryan's businesses."
Pete Pascuzzi has served as Vice President of Operations for Ryan's restaurants in West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri and Pennsylvania for nearly the past year.
Pascuzzi previously served as Chief Operating Officer for Home Style Dining, the franchisor and operator of Bonanza and Ponderosa Family Steakhouses. In his capacity at Home Style Dining, Pete was responsible for providing leadership to Company Operations, Franchisees, Training and Quality Assurance. Prior to his time at Home Style, Pete spent time at Perkins, Marie Callender's, Sonic, and Bakers Square.
Pascuzzi holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Missouri.
George Wooten joined Ovation Brands in October of last year as the Senior Vice President (SVP) of Operations and quickly assumed the development of the company's new, comprehensive hospitality training protocol with a focus on the reconcept markets.
He previously served as the SVP of Operations and COO at Sbarro, SVP of Casual Dining at Ashlaya, and Senior Vice President of Safe Way Groceries. He is a graduate of California Coast University.
"These are seasoned, hands-on restaurant operators who have more than 50 years of relevant and directly applicable experience between them. They are nimble and flexible and know how to get results," said Wedo. "These moves in leadership put the ultimate operations decision maker closer to the action and will help drive urgency and the continued change necessary to support our successful reinvention."
Main Street and Southern Family Goodness
Main Street is featured in the Buffets division, which includes HomeTown® Buffet, Old Country Buffet® and Country Buffet®. The concept has been introduced in California, Minnesota and Colorado, where 34 restaurants have been re-concepted to feature new food including individually portioned meals made Just For You, contemporary decor and a hospitality-first service format.
The Southern Family Goodness concept is featured in the Ryan's restaurants. The Ryan's brand is primarily in smaller Southern markets and showcases the brand's Southern culture. Scratch-made menu items are reflective of the regions it serves, while decor is warm and inviting and on par with the service, which is paramount for all of the Ovation brands. Markets that currently feature the Southern Family Goodness concept include Central Louisiana and Southern West Virginia.
For more information about Ovation Brands and its reinvention, visit www.OvationBrands.com.
About Ovation® Brands
Ovation® Brands currently operates 334 restaurants in 35 states, comprised of 324 steak-buffet restaurants and nine Tahoe Joe's Famous Steakhouse restaurants. The restaurants are principally operated under the Old Country Buffet®, HomeTown® Buffet and Ryan's® brands. Ovation employs over 17,000 team members and serves approximately 100 million customers annually. Corporate headquarters are based in Greer, SC with a Corporate Support Center located in Eagan, MN. For more information, visit www.OvationBrands.com.
SOURCE Ovation Brands