Industry News | September 16, 2013

Tin Drum Adds 2 Ex-Arby’s Execs, 5 More To Executive Ranks

Atlanta-based fast casual franchise Tin Drum Asiacafé has added seven new positions to it leadership and corporate support team to shore up its substantial franchise and corporate growth.  

Two industry veterans, both from Arby’s Restaurant Group, will join the leadership team in new roles: Ray Biondi will be chief operating officer, and Joe Ippolito will serve as vice president of operations.

With more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Biondi was previously senior vice president of franchise management for Arby’s and 2,500 of its restaurants. He also was a partner and SVP at RTM, Arby’s largest franchisee, for nearly 10 years. 

In 1983, Biondi was on the founding team of D’Lites of America, one of the first quick-service concepts to offer fast food with an emphasis on nutrition. As executive vice president, Biondi helped the restaurant concept grow to more than 100 restaurants.

“I’ve seen the potential grow for quality food done quickly, which attracted me to the Tin Drum concept,” Biondi says. “Founder Steven Chan backs up his concept with conscientious menu development, an efficient process, and units that deliver a strong return on investment. With a strong financial partner, BIP Opportunities Fund, I saw a winning formula at Tin Drum and a remarkable opportunity for franchisees.”

Ippolito is a restaurant and franchise industry veteran with a 25-year track record of driving unit growth, profits, guest experience, real estate selection, and training/developing people. 

As vice president of operations at Arby's, he was credited with leading the brand’s most profitable region in the Midwest, as well as overseeing numerous restaurant and product initiatives. He has also worked with such brands as Firehouse Subs, Tim Hortons, and Boston Market.

With 13 restaurants in Atlanta and in Augusta, Georgia, the Pan Asian concept recently announced multiunit openings across central Florida and in Nashville, Tennessee. It also launched aggressive strategic development initiatives to be supported by the growing team.

“We have hired industry leaders with exceptional experience at developing systems, people, and culture to aggressively grow the Tin Drum brand,” says Steven Chan, CEO and founder of Tin Drum Asiacafé. “We are providing our franchisees with the resources for their success.”

Also from Arby’s Restaurant Group, Jen Forbes joins Tin Drum as the new director of training for franchisees, and DawnAgueros brings expertise to the new role of director of human resources. Amy McQuiston has been named manager of administration.

Tin Drum will add a new marketing team member, Elisa Gumbel, who was formerly with Atlanta-based Mellow Mushroom. She will serve as marketing director.

Jon Schinelli, who has been a franchisee for eight years and was the opening manager for the original Georgia Tech restaurant, takes on a new role of operations support manager.

To meet the needs of its fast-growing team, Tin Drum has moved its corporate headquarters to Roswell, Georgia.