Chris Olson, First Watch

Award-winning breakfast, brunch and lunch restaurant First Watch has announced the addition of a key executive to its management team in the hiring of Chris Olson as vice president of finance.

Olson joins First Watch after more than 20 years of building and leading high performance finance organizations in companies with annual revenues from $50 million to $4 billion. As vice president of finance for First Watch, he will be responsible for strategic planning, financial planning and analysis, and treasury management.

“Chris brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from major national and international brands and will play a key role in helping us successfully achieve our aggressive growth plans,” says Ken Pendery, chief executive officer for First Watch.

“We’re excited to welcome him on board and look forward to his strategic input as we continue to expand our presence in new and existing markets throughout the U.S.”

Most recently, Olson served as the vice president of finance, planning and analysis for Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. in Winter Park, Florida, and also has held executive-level finance positions with Silver Diner and Outback Steakhouse, Inc.—now known as Bloomin’ Brands, Inc.

Olson, a certified public accountant, holds a master’s in business administration from The University of Texas at Dallas and a bachelor’s in finance from Oklahoma State University.

Meaghan Goedde, Sage Restaurant Group

Mercat a la Planxa in Chicago, the modern tapas restaurant inspired by Spain’s Catalan region, along with Sage Restaurant Group, announced that they have brought on new general manager Meaghan Goedde in June to bring the modern cuisine, specialty cocktail program and vibrant ambience to new heights.

Goedde has been with Sage Restaurant Group for seven years, playing an essential role in the launching of several SRG restaurants, including Mercat a la Planxa in 2008, The Corner Office, Urban Farmer and most recently The Original in Portland, Oregon.

“Meaghan is truly a rising star and proven leader, not just in SRG, but in the national restaurant industry. Her passion for restaurants is unparalleled and her intuition about how to make a concept great, coupled with her keen business sense, will support Mercat’s continued success in Chicago as a South Loop destination for dining,” says Peter Karpinski, co-founder and COO of Sage Restaurant Group.


Industry News, Labor & Employees, First Watch