Newk’s Eatery announced the hire of two new support center team members who will assist in the national expansion of the brand. After nine years in business, the fresh casual restaurant concept is rapidly growing, with 12 new restaurant locations planned to open before year end 2013.
Gary Brem, a 34-year food service construction veteran, has been named director of development, and Klara Smith, a 15-year legal industry professional, has been chosen as the company’s general counsel.
“We’re excited about the future of our brand and new team members who are experienced in the food service industry and can help us realize the exponential growth we have planned over the next few years,” says Chris Newcomb, president and CEO of Newk’s.
Brem will be handling concept-to-completion development of Newk’s expanding locations, including evaluating and recommending real estate sites for franchisee’s and company restaurants. With a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oklahoma, Brem began his career in the food industry with 22 years with McDonald’s. He also worked with Jack in the Box, Metromedia Restaurant Group, and Applebee’s.
“Newk’s has a unique personality, and it’s really a brand that you can feel good about,” Brem says. “The company is nimble and free of the bureaucracy you find with some more established brands.”
Smith’s experience with franchise development transactions will help her support operational growth and development of new stores in the Newk’s system. After graduating with her Juris Doctor from the University of Texas in Austin, Smith was an attorney with the Dallas office of the law firm of Baker & McKenzie and then associate general counsel of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, Inc., the parent company of T.G.I. Friday’s.
“I’m excited by the Newk’s concept and vision and the opportunity to use my expertise to support the company in meeting its plan for growth and expansion,” says Smith.