Frisch’s Big Boy, a 75-year-old American comfort food and casual-themed restaurant brand, announced the hiring of its new Chief Executive Officer, James Walker. Walker, an accomplished restaurant industry veteran, comes to the brand from BUYK, the ultra-fast grocery startup where he served as CEO.
“Fewer and fewer restaurant brands today have the kind of legacy that Frisch’s Big Boy has. The people of Cincinnati and surrounding areas have an emotional connection with this brand,” says Walker, CEO of Frisch’s Big Boy. “As the brand celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, I couldn’t be more excited about joining an incredible team that understands that connection. My role is to guide us in leveraging our brand equity.”
Walker brings the brand more than 30 years of broad-based, senior-level management experience in the hospitality and retail industry. Walker previously held positions at well-known brands such as Nathan’s Famous, Baja Fresh, Cinnabon, and Subway. As the North American Vice President for Subway, Walker oversaw their 28,000 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada and was instrumental in starting Subway’s delivery program, menu transformation, and remodel program. While at Nathan’s Famous, Walker repositioned the brand as “The Flavor of NY” and successfully developed the sandwich menu offerings to drive both check average and frequency.
Walker holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and has received certificates and diplomas from several institutions and colleges, including Yale’s School of Management and Harvard’s Business School.