The Halal Guys, the American Halal street food concept with over 200 new corporate and franchise restaurants in development, has hired Mike Speck as the company’s new chief operating officer. Speck is a 25-year restaurant operations and training veteran, whose most recent role as vice president of Human Resources and Training for Qdoba Mexican Grill involved growing the company from 100 to 600 restaurants, employing 7,000 employees, and producing more than $600 million in system wide annual sales. Speck also has human resources and operations experience with brands like Cici’s Pizza, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Boston Market, and Einstein Bagels, and has served as a past chairman for the National Restaurant Association Human Resources Executive Group.
Founded in 1990 when the New York City street food scene consisted of little more than hot dogs and pretzels, The Halal Guys has created buzz after announcing franchise deals for 200 new unitsin their first year of franchising. The American Halal food franchise ranks in the Top 10 Most Yelped Businesses in the U.S., and Reebok recently launched a specialty sneaker inspired by The Halal Guys.
“I'm truly impressed by the intense focus, reputation, and presence The Halal Guys founders and operating team have built over the years serving on the streets through every kind of weather all hours of the day every day of the year. My primary focus is to build on this legacy, implement key strategic operating plans, hire great people, and live to the mission and vision of the founders, all to achieve the ultimate goal of successful growth in both company and franchise operated restaurants,” Speck says of joining the team.
Ahmed Abouelenein, The Halal Guys’ CEO, says, “For over 25 years we have built and sustained a reputation in the most demanding city in the world as the dominant American Halal foodservice concept. As we expand The Halal Guys around the world, we are aiming for 100 percent operational excellence in every restaurant and are arming ourselves with the best strategic HR and training person we could find.”