Smith, the creative collective and hospitality group based in Asbury Park, New Jersey, announced the appointment of Suzanne Hanna as its new Chief Operating Officer. A seasoned hospitality veteran with more than two decades of experience, Hanna will oversee business operations for all of Smith’s restaurant concepts, including Porta, Brickwall Tavern, Pascal & Sabine, and Little Buddy Hideaway.

Prior to joining Smith, Hanna served as the Senior Vice President of Operations for TGI Fridays, where she was responsible for devising long-term organizational strategy, in addition to providing operational leadership for the chain’s U.S. company-owned operations. She also previously served as Senior Vice President of Yum! Restaurants International, overseeing restaurant brands such as KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, and has also been in leadership roles with Darden Restaurants and Morton’s The Steakhouse.

“We couldn’t be happier to welcome Suzanne into the Smith family,” says Meg Brunette, partner of Smith. “Suzanne brings exceptional leadership qualities that will be a valuable asset to our team as we continue to expand our restaurants throughout New Jersey and beyond.”

Hanna joins the company at a vital time, as Smith expands outside New Jersey for the first time – a new Porta and Brickwall Tavern, located adjacent to one another, are set to open in Philadelphia this winter. In her role as COO, Hanna will work closely with partners Meg Brunette, Kyle Lepree, Jason Watt, and Jim Watt to establish long-term strategies for Smith’s continued growth, as well as overseeing overall operations for its restaurant locations across New Jersey (Asbury Park, Jersey City, and The City of Burlington) and Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).

“It’s a very exciting period of growth for Smith, and I’m thrilled to be joining a group whose vision for hospitality is aligned with mine,” says Hanna. “I look forward to working together with a group of forward-thinking innovators as we create breakthroughs in this industry through beloved concepts like Porta and Brickwall.”

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