Black Bear Diner, a fast-growing, family dining concept that offers a one-of-a-kind experience and home-style comfort food classics in a fun, bear-themed atmosphere, announced the promotion of Craig Cunningham to Senior Vice President of Operations and the addition of Steve Standlea as Director of Operations Services. Both will report directly to Black Bear Diner Chief Executive Officer Bruce Dean.
“We are very pleased to announce the promotion of Craig Cunningham, and to welcome Steve Standlea to the Black Bear family,” says Dean. “Craig Cunningham has demonstrated his ability to drive this brand forward as we continue to expand our presence east, while building out existing markets. Together with Steve’s industry background and experience driving same stores sales growth and improving operations, we believe we have a very strong operations team that will help us to continue outperforming the family dining category.”
Craig Cunningham was promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations, after serving as Regional Vice President of Operations at Black Bear Diner. In his former role he successfully implemented strategic planning to achieve organizational goals across 20 company diners, improved processes for kitchen operations and exceeded financial and sales goals for the company. In his new role, he is now responsible for all elements of strategic planning across 34 company diners, setting financial goals for all Company diners and directing seven regional managers. Cunningham has also held operations roles at Mimi’s Café, Smoke Modern BBQ and Smashburger.
Black Bear Diner also welcomes Steve Standlea as Director of Operations Services. In his new role he will be responsible for opening new restaurants and implementing support structure for new openings, serving as a liaison to the field for home office initiatives and special projects. Steve most recently served as Director of Operations for a small two concept restaurant company, where he oversaw operations for 10 Corky’s restaurants and one Septembers Taproom & Eatery. Prior to that, he served as Director of Operations for The Simmzy’s brand based in Manhattan Beach, California. He has also worked for Mimi’s Café in various roles, and was the first joint venture partner for the Habit Burger when they expanded to Arizona, their first venture outside of California.
As part of a strengthened operations team, both individuals will focus on continuing to improve operations and driving sales growth. Black Bear Diner has had 26 quarters of consecutive same store sales growth, as it continues to focus tirelessly on serving home-style comfort food classics and bringing personal service back to the dining industry.