East Coast Wings & Grill, one of the fast growing casual dining chicken wing franchises in the country, has announced the promotion of Tom Scalese to chief operating officer.

In his new position, Scalese will continue his oversight of the company’s operations efforts. He will also assume increased responsibilities – including leadership of East Coast Wings & Grill’s marketing, sales, training, and real estate functions – as well as accelerating development of the company’s national presence.

“We are fortunate to have a proven, respected, and esteemed leader like Tom as part of our management team,” says Sam Ballas, CEO of East Coast Wings & Grill. “Since becoming part of the East Coast Wings & Grill senior leadership team five years ago, Tom has done an excellent job leading our operations initiatives and has gained the respect of both his peers and our franchisees. As COO, Tom will bring his strong leadership qualities, business expertise, and keen insight to East Coast Wings & Grill’s line of business.”

Scalese has nearly 25 years of executive sales and management experience in the foodservice industry. He joined East Coast Wings & Grill in 2008 as vice president of operations and has served as executive vice president since 2010. Prior to his roles at East Coast Wings & Grill, Scalese was a district sales manager for IFH Foodservice, where he managed a $25 million budget. Prior to that, he served as district sales manager for Henry Lee Food Service. Early in his career, Scalese owned and operated an Italian brick oven pizza restaurant in Florida.

Scalese’s promotion comes on the heels of a monumental year for East Coast Wings & Grill. Continuing to outperform others in the casual dining segment, the burgeoning brand had sales of more than $33 million in 2012 and recently enjoyed its 38th consecutive quarter of same store sales increases. With 26 locations currently open and operating throughout North Carolina and Texas, the chain has signed agreements to add 80 new restaurants throughout the country over the next five years.

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