Hickory Tavern announced that they have brought on board a new CEO, Mark Eason, to take their operations to the next level. With over 35 years of experience in the casual dining restaurant industry, Eason’s long-range vision and expertise will be integral in driving the company forward. The change in leadership comes as Hickory Tavern celebrates 25 years of creating community across the Southeast.
Eason began his career at Brinker International, where he stayed for seven years in the Steak & Ale concept, working his way from Assistant Manager to Area Supervisor. In 1989, he began a 10-year run at Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon Inc., a publicly held company, working as General Manager, District Manager and then Regional Vice President. In 1999, Eason brought his industry insights and enthusiasm to the New England-based restaurant chain Bertucci’s Brick Oven Pizzeria. Over his five years there, he was Regional Vice President and then Vice President of Operations. In 2004, he joined Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, where he has served as Chief Operating Officer, President, and Chief Executive Officer, driving growth from 4 to 55 units.
“We’re excited to have Mark lead our organization into our next chapter,” says Brad Smith, Chairman of Hickory Tavern. “His innovative ideas and commitment to excellence are both inspiring and contagious. Mark’s leadership will further entrench Hickory Tavern as the premier destination for neighborhood gatherings, enjoying all-star food and celebrating the wins of our favorite teams.”
“I’m eager to put all that I’ve learned over my career to enhance the Hickory Tavern brand,” Eason says. “It is a privilege and pleasure to be part of this highly successful concept, and I am committed to making our service promise even stronger going forward.”
As one of Carolinas go-to spots for great food, cold drinks, and real community since 1997, the 23 restaurants under the Hickory Tavern brand are also known for the perks of their Fan Club membership, excellent space for social events, and to-go Tailgate Parties.
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