Bob Platzer, founder of PJW Restaurant Group, the largest and most successful family-owned restaurant group in the Delaware Valley, has named hospitality veteran Jim Fris Chief Executive Officer as Platzer assumes the Executive Chairman role. The announcement comes as the restaurant group celebrates its 35th year of success.
Bob Platzer and his wife Donna began in 1983 with a modest, 14-stool bar in Lehighton, PA. Platzer was the visionary behind the restaurant concepts including the successful P.J. Whelihan’s, The ChopHouse, Treno and The Pour House. Under his leadership, the group has grown to 22 locations and never had to close a store. In his new role as Executive Chairman, Platzer will formally step back from day-to-day but remain engaged in the group’s concept development and refinement, real estate ventures, and philanthropic efforts.
“I feel very fortunate to have someone of Jim’s caliber as my successor,” says Platzer. “Stepping into a new role with greater freedom to motivate and inspire our team is the next logical step for me. The time is right as our foundation is strong, built on decades of successes and our operations are well-tuned. I am proud to turn over CEO duties to Jim, who not only has the expertise, but also has a deep understanding and respect for our company culture.”
Fris, the group’s current Chief Operating Officer, brings over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Under his tenure, the restaurant group has opened 15 new locations, created over 1,200 new jobs, increased sales and created synergies with local sports teams such as the Wells Fargo Center and Temple University. As CEO, Fris will focus on elevating the group through new stores, strategic investments in current locations, and continued innovation to ensure the best guest experience. Fris was recently inaugurated Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association.
“It is a privilege to be named CEO of PJW Restaurant Group. I’m honored and humbled by the trust and confidence Bob has placed in me,” says Fris. “It is an exciting time for us; we are continuing to expand the PJW footprint and providing more opportunities for our team to grow. I’m extremely optimistic about our potential.”
PJW Restaurant Group will soon introduce two new concepts—Central Taco and Tequila in Westmont, New Jersey, in late 2018 and ChopHouse Grille is slated for 2019 in Exton, PA. For a limited time, all PJW locations will offer a special Holiday White Ale dubbed “Raising the Bar,” an homage to the group’s tagline. This collaboration with Yards Brewing Company will be available for $3.50 as part of the PJW Restaurant Group’s 35th anniversary celebration
News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.