The casual dining pizza-focused concept, Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza announced last week that Wayne Jones will be the chain's new Chief Executive Officer.
Jones will be bringing three decades of restaurant industry experience to the ACFP’s executive management team.
He has held leadership roles at other casual dining chains, including The Cheesecake Factory and BJ's Restaurants. And most recently, he served as the President and CEO for three years at the Asian casual dining chain, PF Chang’s.
Jones made the career move because he sees a brand with potential.
"The Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza menu is unlike anything I've seen before, and it truly sets Anthony's apart," said Jones in a press release. "When speaking with Anthony and the rest of the team, you immediately sense the passion behind this brand, and it didn't take me long to realize the size of the opportunity for Anthony's to continue its expansion."
The chain appeals to consumers looking for a quality food product with authentic Italian flavors, all paired with a side of passion.
"The food quality at Anthony's is awesome and will always be the focus," said Jones. "The teams are incredibly hospitable, caring for each other and our guests. Anthony's passion as a restaurateur lines up beautifully with my personal beliefs. He has built something very special, so I am humbled to join this team."
The pizza chain was founded in 2002 and since then has expanded with 60 company-owned locations in Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Chicago, and other states in the northeast.
ACFP has plans to almost double the number of current stores and has a goal to open 100 stores sooner than later.
"This is an exciting time for us as we celebrate our 15th anniversary and look ahead toward an even brighter future," said Anthony Bruno, the founder of Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza in a press release. "Bringing Wayne's veteran leadership to our brand is a game changer. His expertise in delivering an outstanding guest experience and incredible food will enable us to continue pushing toward our next milestone: crossing the 100-unit mark."
We recently pulled data from Foodable Labs to see what the top Italian casual dining chains were in the industry. Anthony’s landed at No. 2 with the second highest sentiment score and rounded out the top three according to Overall scores.
Although the brand ranked high in relation to its competitor brands, ACFP isn’t in the top 100 national restaurant brands list. Upscale casual dining chains like Matchbox Kitchen + Bar and Burton’s Grill are leading in relation to the casual dining segment.