Zoës Kitchen, a 45-store fast-casual restaurant chain, announced that Greg Dollarhyde, its current chairman and CEO, will return to his position as executive chairman following the appointment of Kevin Miles to president. Miles currently serves as chief operating officer of the company.
Having joined Zoës in May 2009 as vice president of operations, Miles has more than 20 years of senior executive-level operating experience in the fast-casual restaurant business, working previously at La Madeleine, Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, and Pollo Campero. Miles is a graduate of Texas A&M University.
“I am thrilled to be president of Zoës Kitchen,” Miles says. “We have assembled a great team which is passionate about the concept and we’re ready to work together to execute our plan. I look forward to continuing to work closely with, our financial partners, Brentwood Associates; Greg; and our fantastic team to build on our sales momentum and accelerated growth.”
“Kevin is an outstanding leader and a talented restaurant executive with extensive experience in rapidly growing fast-casual restaurant chains,” Dollarhyde says. “He has an in-depth understanding of the Zoës Kitchen food, service, identity, and team. I am excited to see him continue his growth with the tremendous success of Zoës Kitchen.
“I have enjoyed the opportunity to lead Zoës Kitchen as the CEO since the depths of the recession in December 2008,” Dollarhyde says. “When I first partnered with Brentwood Associates as an investor and as chairman in 2007, I envisioned that I would serve as a mentor for a young, highly talented management team with tremendous potential. I’m proud to have led this team to same-store sales growth of 12 percent in 2010 while growing the location base by more than 40 percent per year during my tenure. I’m even more proud that this same trajectory of growth is continuing into 2011 with total revenues currently growing more than 60 percent. Now that Kevin and the senior leadership of Zoës are in place and hitting on all cylinders it is time for me to return to my role as chairman, and be closer to my family and friends in Southern California.”
“We are grateful to Greg for the growth of Zoës Kitchen since he stepped in as CEO,” says Rahul Aggarwal, managing director at Brentwood Associates. “Under his leadership, Zoës Kitchen has evolved into one of the most exciting fast-casual concepts in the nation. Starting with 19 stores, Zoës is now on track to have 60 locations by the end of 2011. Greg has also led the evolution of the menu, optimization and design of the new store prototype, and most importantly, built a management team with a passionate dedication to exceptional customer service. Greg has helped build Zoës into a leading fast-casual concept, and we’re excited to keep building the company on the foundation he has helped to create.”
“Greg is a uniquely talented restaurant executive with whom we’ve enjoyed working on several of investments, including Zoës Kitchen,” says Anthony Choe, partner at Brentwood Associates. “Among his greatest strengths is his ability to identify and nurture talent in the restaurant business. He was instrumental in bringing Kevin Miles to Zoës Kitchen and mentoring him to be ready to lead this dynamic team in a wonderfully differentiated and rapidly growing fast-casual concept. We thank Greg for his tenure as CEO, and we look forward to an exciting future with Kevin at the helm.”