Mike Mrlik has joined CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries’ team as SVP operations and president of Old Chicago. Mrlik will lead Old Chicago’s brand refresh as 55 locations roll out a revamped menu with 40 new items including a new tavern-style thin crust pizza. The locations will also undergo a design overhaul with an emphasis on an enhanced guest experience.
“Mrlik has a proven track record and outstanding operating skills. I am confident that he will add immediate value to the Old Chicago brand and will be a great addition to the executive team,” says CraftWorks chief executive officer Allen Corey.
An industry veteran, Mrlik served as president and CEO of Mr. Gatti’s where he significantly improved the chain’s operating costs, profitability, and food quality. In addition to Mr. Gatti’s, Mrlik has extensive franchise experience having held the role of VP of Operations at Boston Market, which he helped grow from zero to 105 stores in under four years, and COO of Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, where he created the franchise structure.
Most recently Mrlik led the Street Concept Development of a new store-front brand and national expansion initiative for Sarku Japan.
Mrlik, a graduate of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, will relocate from Austin, Texas, to CraftWorks’ office in Louisville, Colorado.
Old Chicago is a traditional, casual dining restaurant specializing in Chicago-style, made-from-scratch pizzas, pastas, calzones, and salads. Old Chicago has 96 restaurants operating in 22 states.