Two of America’s largest full-service family restaurant brands are now under the strategic guidance of one of the restaurant industry’s most sought-after franchise development executives. 

Ascent Hospitality Management, parent company to portfolio brands Huddle House and Perkins Restaurant & Bakery (Perkins), has named Peter Ortiz as the new Chief Development Officer for both concepts. Ortiz has a track record of successfully accelerating franchise growth for some of the nation’s preeminent restaurant concepts. His appointment comes on the heels of both brands recently announcing newly-designed expansion strategies aimed at dynamic, nationwide development.  

“When you consider the combined 700-plus restaurants open or under development between the brands, as well as Ascent’s commitment to modernizing the concepts, this decision forms a strong foundation for a remarkable future. I’m positive that talented restaurant investor/operator groups will see why now is clearly the time to invest in either Huddle House or Perkins,” says Ortiz, who most recently was at the helm of franchise growth for QDOBA. “Each brand fills a unique space in the restaurant sector, offering the opportunity to take advantage of prime real estate availability in attractive markets that remain untapped.”

In his new position, Ortiz is prioritizing multi-unit franchise development deals across the United States. Leveraging flexible Huddle House and Perkins restaurant designs, he will engage new franchise prospects looking to diversify their portfolios with leading brands in the family dining segment.

Ortiz will lean on franchise growth accomplishments that span more than 30 years, having previously led growth efforts for brands such as Moe’s Southwest Grill, QDOBA, Potbelly Sandwich Shop and Schlotzsky’s, among others. Over the course of his career, Ortiz’s efforts have netted sales of nearly 2,000 franchises throughout the United States and internationally. In one of his most recent roles at Potbelly, Ortiz led the company’s franchise growth strategy and nearly doubled the brand’s franchise footprint through multi-unit deals. 

“Peter’s strong work ethic, determination and reputation for successfully growing notable franchise concepts make him just the right fit for Huddle House and Perkins. His unique perspective and wealth of experience will help continue to steer these brands on their upwards trajectory,” says Michael Abt, CEO Ascent Hospitality Management. “We look forward to following Peter’s lead in established tight bonds with a new collection of skilled franchisees.”

Ortiz joins Huddle House and Perkins at an exciting time of modernization for the concepts. In the past year, both brands have developed new restaurant prototypes optimized for an off-premises dining experience, engaging with customers in a new way. In addition, Huddle House and Perkins have moved forward with adjustments to their online ordering platforms, further streamlining curbside pickup, drive-thru and delivery processes. These advancements, paired with recently integrated third-party delivery partnerships, have positioned the brands for strong futures with proven operators. 

As Huddle House and Perkins continue to target growth and open in new areas throughout the United States, each brand is focused on attracting qualified multi-unit franchise owners with experience in restaurant management and an interest in breakfast and bakery-focused concepts. They both offer variable design, real estate and operations options for seasoned restaurant owners looking to diversify their portfolios within the family dining segment.

Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Industry News, Labor & Employees, Huddle House, Perkins Restaurant and Bakery