Austin-based, fast-casual restaurant chain Hat Creek Burger Company announced today plans for the growth of its leadership team beyond Texas. Known for serving fresh burgers, fries and shakes across the state for more than 13 years, the company has hired Atlanta-based Chris Phillips as Chief Strategy Officer. 

In his new role at Hat Creek Burger Company, Phillips will work together with the senior leadership team to facilitate planning for long-term business growth and create new business development opportunities through strategic partnerships, corporate development and more. As Austin’s homegrown burger chain looks to expand beyond Texas, Phillips will maintain the commitment to Hat Creek’s mission across each location. Hat Creek retained leading industry search firm, the Elliot Group, to help identify the Atlanta-based executive as the right fit for the family-friendly restaurant chain. 

“We are fired up about Chris Phillips joining our team. His extensive experience will be an asset to the executive team, and we will lean on him to help shape the next wave of growth for Hat Creek Burger Company,” says Drew Gressett, Founder of Hat Creek Burger Company. “Most importantly to me, Chris has a great history of servant leadership making him a cultural fit with our brand and our team members. I am confident that he will be a tremendous addition to our company.”

With over two decades of knowledge in the industry, Phillips will bring a dynamic finance perspective to Hat Creek with his deep acquisition expertise working closely with operations, information technology and concept development. His most recent position was Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director for Atticus Franchise Group, owner and operator of 130 franchised locations across two brands, including Massage Envy and Sonic. Over the last year and a half, he led all M&A activities, including identifying and onboarding new brands and growing existing ones. Prior to that, he served for three years as Chief Strategy Officer at GPS Hospitality, the owner and operator of approximately 500 Burger King, Popeyes and Pizza Hut restaurants in 13 states. Additional key restaurant and food service executive industry experience includes VP of Finance Strategy, Analytics & Insights at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Senior Director of Finance and Strategy for Darden Restaurants.

“Hat Creek is a fantastic, well-established restaurant brand in Texas,” says Chris Phillips, Chief Strategy Officer of Hat Creek Burger Company. “What makes this place special are its loyal customers, dedicated employees and Drew’s vision for the future. I’m thrilled to be on board to help take the company forward into a new and exciting chapter.” 

Hat Creek Burger Company originated from a beloved food trailer in Austin, opening its flagship location in 2011 in West Lake Hills. In 2020, Hat Creek celebrated the opening of its 27th location in Texas, including 10 locations across the Austin area, 11 in Dallas/Fort Worth, 3 in Houston, and 1 each in San Antonio, Waco and Temple.

Known for its positive atmosphere of family and community with an outdoor patio and a play yard for kids at every location, Hat Creek Burger Company serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The menu consists of fresh, never-frozen cheeseburgers; all-natural, buttermilk chicken flashers; breakfast tacos made with Vital Farms pasture-raised eggs; and sides like sweet potato fries, tater tots, milkshakes and homemade sauces. Salad and gluten-free options are also available. As the company looks toward expansion, each Hat Creek Burger Company location will remain dedicated to being a place to gather together for good food, friends and fun.  

Employee Management, Fast Casual, News, Hat Creek Burger Company