FoodFirst Global Restaurants announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Steve Layt as Chief Executive Officer, effectively immediately. He will assume day-to-day leadership of the Company and will also join FoodFirst’s Board of Directors.
Layt is an accomplished restaurant executive with more than 30 years of global experience. Most recently, Steve was president and CEO of Pizza Hut for NPC International, the nation’s largest Pizza Hut Franchisee. Prior to that, Layt was the president of Applebee’s. Layt is a world-class operator and has extensive experience driving sales growth, reshaping organizations, building and inspiring teams.
“We’re excited to have an operator and executive of Steve’s caliber join our team and we look forward to all we will achieve under his leadership,” says Antonio Bonchristiano, CEO of GP Investments, FoodFirst’s main investor. “The Board and I are confident Steve is the right leader to build on current momentum and continue to drive our operations towards industry-leading excellence.”
FoodFirst’s founder, Brad Blum, has stepped down from his role as chairman and CEO and will remain engaged as an owner-partner. “I would like to personally thank Brad for his outstanding leadership and contribution in setting up the foundation for FoodFirst’s success,” Bonchristiano says.
Layt’s first priorities will be to deliver outstanding operational excellence and to consistently delight FoodFirst guests. Given his operational expertise, Steve will directly oversee FoodFirst’s operations team.
Formed in 2018, FoodFirst Global Restaurants, Inc. is building a platform to own a variety of brands and businesses in the restaurant and food industry. Its first two brands are BRIO Tuscan Grille, which is being repositioned in the polished, upscale segment of casual dining as BRIO Italian Mediterranean and BRAVO Cucina Italiana, which will be renamed BRAVO Italian Mediterranean as a core casual dining brand.