After a quarter of a century with Corner Bakery Café, Ric Scicchitano is onto a new adventure. The long-tenured executive vice president of food and supply chain at the Dallas-based concept has moved down the road to Which Wich headquarters, where he will serve as president.
Founder Jeff Sinelli will maintain his role of “chief vibe officer,” while Scicchitano will take the lead with many day-to-day operations, including franchisee relations.
When asked about making the move to a new brand after so many years at Corner Bakery, Scicchitano says the decision was a no-brainer.
“My family and I have been fans of Which Wich for many years,” he says. “When I received a phone call to sit down with Jeff Sinelli … it became pretty clear that this is someone I wanted to work for. Jeff is the founder of Which Wich. I get energy being around creativity; I get energy being around folks who create brands and want to see the brands succeed.”
After many hours spanning several meetings, Sinelli laid out his vision for Which Wich, and Scicchitano knew the timing was right to join the company and help guide it to the next chapter.
Although talks between Sinelli and Scicchitano did not begin until earlier this year, the two fast-casual leaders were well aware of each other.
“Ric has been a mainstay in our sector for two and a half decades. I feel that in getting to know Ric, I found a positive leader, perfectly positioned to pioneer our ongoing innovation,” Sinelli writes in an email. “Ric is a go-getter with a great passion for good food. Unique, distinctive offerings have been our brand promise from day one, so his relentless pursuit of this makes him a natural fit.”
Scicchitano’s background is firmly rooted on the culinary side: He grew up in a big Italian household with a strong focus on communal meals, and later earned his degree at the Culinary Institute of America. During his years at Corner Bakery, he expanded his expertise to encompass other facets of the business, including supply chain management and brand leadership.
In his new role at Which Wich, Scicchitano will interface with all the departments, from IT to operations. But that doesn’t mean he’ll be far from his first love.
“Of all the different departments and the different disciplines of Which Wich, don’t be surprised if I’m hanging out in the R&D kitchen a little more than I am with the IT guys or the development team,” he says. “The good news is that Which Wich’s food is really good. … No doubt there’s going to be a special place in my heart where the food innovation goes with this brand.”
Both Sinelli and Scicchitano hint at new LTOs and updates for 2017, from tech innovations to menu and catering upgrades to delivery and more. For now, they are keeping the specifics under the hat, but Scicchitano says first he’ll be meeting Which Wich franchisees and soliciting feedback.
“I’ve learned discipline over the years. Sometimes what we think is a great idea, sitting in an office, isn’t necessarily a great idea in the restaurant,” Scicchitano says. “It’s a kitchen that’s set up for speed and success back there so I just want to make sure I stay within the framework of what our skillsets are.”
By Nicole Duncan