Café Enterprises, Inc. named Jim Mazany its chief executive officer. Mazany, the former president of Joe’s Crab Shack, is a 30-year industry veteran who has held senior leadership roles at TGI Friday’s and Applebee’s.

“We are excited to have Jim lead the Fatz Cafe brand,” says Scott Warren, board director of Cafe Enterprises. “Jim is a proven restaurant executive whose leadership style will be a great fit for our culture. While 2016 has been a difficult year for those of us in the casual-dining industry, Jim has extensive experience in leading brands to success in challenging times.”

Café Enterprises is the parent company of Fatz Café. Mazany takes over at the Taylor, South Carolina-based chain for Chris Thomas, who stepped down.

Mazany became the senior vice president of operations for Joe’s Crab Shack in 2007. He advanced to chief operating officer before becoming the Ignite Restaurant Group brand’s president when the company was taken public in 2012. According to Fatz Café, he helped the brand increase its unit volume growth from $2.2 million to $3.2 million per year. In August, Ignite Restaurant Group reported that revenues at Joe’s Crab Shack were $108.4 million during the second quarter of 2016 versus $122.4 million in the prior year second quarter. Comparable restaurant sales at Joe’s Crab Shack decreased 6.8 percent.

“I am honored and excited to be given the opportunity to lead the Cafe Enterprises team, and to grow and develop the Fatz Cafe brand,” Mazany says in a statement. “Fatz has deep roots in Southern hospitality and Southern-inspired cuisine, and a dedicated group of team members who have made the brand what it is today.”

Fatz Café, which has locations in the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia, has 45 units. Café Enterprises also owns a Tavern 24.

Industry News, Labor & Employees, Fatz