Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurant Inc. named Andy Abbajay its new chief operations officer. Employing multiple touch points, additional support layers, and a collaborative leadership style, Abbajay will lead the brand as it closes in on its 500th restaurant opening and the brand’s eventual international expansion.

“Andy joins us with a proven track record of creative problem solving and will be instrumental in leveraging best in class operation procedures for our growing system,” says Roland Dickey, Jr., president and CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. “He is a results-oriented leader and laser focused on successful operations and continued growth.”

Prior to joining Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc., Abbajay served as vice president of operations for Sbarro where he was instrumental in leveraging increased support and execution to re-engage owners as the brand emerged from bankruptcy. In addition, he has served as chief operations officer for Back Yard Burgers and chief executive officer for Restaurant Growth Brands.

“I’m proud to be part of such a driven brand dedicated to quality, operational efficiency and supporting our franchise owners at every restaurant,” Abbajay says. “Operations is the largest touch point to ensuring our franchisees meet standards and run successful businesses—I look forward to being part of taking this brand to the next level.”

Abbajay holds a bachelor of science in business from Nova Southeastern University. The newly established function within leadership comes at an exciting time as the companyplans to add 100 new restaurants by 2015.

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