Daniel del Olmo, DineEquity’s former president for international, was appointed CEO of Disruptive Restaurant Group and Umami Burger, the company announced Monday.
Sbe, a lifestyle hospitality company that oversees the groups, said del Olmo’s hire marked the 11th executive placement of 2017. Del Olmo served as president for international at DineEquity from December 2013 until September 13. His resignation was accepted August 24 by the parent company of Applebee’s and IHOP. DineEquity didn’t provide many details at the time, only saying, “Mr. del Olmo is leaving to pursue another opportunity,” in a brief document with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
That opportunity, it turns out, is to help the Los Angeles-based company continue “establishing its existing culinary and nightlife portfolio and organization for accelerated growth.” Sbe adds that del Olmo “will be focused on creating a strategic growth plan by rationalizing sbe's existing portfolio, elevating each brand by further improving every element of the guest experience, implementing new technologies to drive incremental revenue opportunities and operational efficiencies and most importantly, creating and deepening relationships with sbe's most loyal customers and business partners.”
He is expected to ignite growth with existing and new partners through stand-alone units and other hotel, residential, commercial properties, and transportation hubs.
"I am delighted that Daniel has decided to join Disruptive from DineEquity, one of the largest full-service restaurant companies in the world. His decision to move over to sbe is a tribute to the innovative brands we have built throughout the years, and I look forward to seeing him lead our teams into a new exciting chapter," founder and CEO Sam Nazarian says in a statement.
Del Olmo’s restaurant portfolio will now include 26-unit Umami Burger, The Bazaar by José Andrés, Japanese brand Katsuya, Mediterranean concept Cleo, Michael Schwartz's Fi'lia, Hyde, Nightingale, Doheny Room, SKYBAR, and others. In total, del Olmo will oversee 74 global restaurants and 42 lounges.
"I am thrilled to join sbe at such a critical juncture to lead the growth of the award-winning concepts that make up the Disruptive Restaurant Group, including Umami and sbe's nightlife,” del Olmo says in a statement. "There is no organization better suited to own the lifestyle segment across every dimension of the guest experience than sbe. With a talented team, enthusiastic strategic partners and a solid pipeline of prospective partners and future locations, I look forward to introducing new noteworthy concepts and disrupting the industry together."
Sbe has a robust pipeline with 19 restaurants and seven lounges scheduled to open in the next six months and more than 60 venues planned by 2021, including 25 Umami Burgers, 16 Katsuyas, and 11 Cleos.
Del Olmo’s international experience should be a boon for sbe and Disruptive Restaurant Group, which launched its first international Umami Burger in Tokyo this year. Katsuya also debuted in Dubai and opened a 10th location at Baha Mar—a $4.2 billion luxury resort in the Bahamas. The Belgian native speaks six languages, including Spanish, Dutch, French, Italian, and Portuguese.
Del Olmo’s hire at DineEquity in 2013 signaled the company’s first run at consolidating its international operations and development for IHOP and Applebee’s. As of June 30, DineEquity operated 157 international Applebee’s and 106 IHOPs.