And the company will refine its strategy through an executive team that feels like it belongs to a 2,000-unit chain. The same qualities that inspire loyal customers attracted Anthony’s C-suite, Jones says. He arrived after three years as president and chief operating officer of PF Chang’s. Before, Jones spent six years at BJ’s Restaurants and two decades with The Cheesecake Factory.
In June, the company announced four new appointments.
John Reale, who worked four years apiece as COO at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen and FOCUS Brands, took over the same duties with Anthony’s.
Katie Knight, the former CMO of Carrabba’s Italian Grill, grabbed the marketing reins.
Late last year, Anthony’s also hired Dean Courtelis as chief culinary officer. Courtelis was a Cheesecake Factory vet, too, having clocked 12 years at the polished-casual empire, managing operations for eight restaurants. He then spent two years at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, where he designed, opened, and oversaw the company’s first FDA-certified food manufacturing facility.
Lastly, Anthony’s added Claudia Schaefer to its board of directors. Schaefer served as CMO of Jamba and Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, and also worked for Chili’s.
The hires joined chief people officer Michele Zavolta, who hailed from Logan’s Roadhouse and Ted’s Montana Grill, and CFO Rebekah Cooksey, a former DentalOnePartners and Michaels leader.
Jones says it’s not surprising to see top-tier executives lining up to join Anthony’s. They’ve tried the pizza, too.
“I think that really speaks to the quality of Anthony’s as a brand,” he says. “You can look at the loyalty from guests and it makes all the sense in the world.”