Positioning itself for rapid growth in 2015, Kono Pizza USA, the fast-casual concept behind the creation of pizza in a cone, announced the appointment of food industry veteran Matt Bailey to vice president of operations.
In his new role, Bailey is responsible for all aspects of operations, from site selection and lease negotiations to training and ongoing support.
“Matt brings the leadership, experience, and vision to take Kono Pizza USA to new heights,” says David Ragosa, cofounder of Kono Pizza USA. “His business know-how and hands-on experience are invaluable to our leadership team as we continue to shake up the U.S. pizza market, one pizza cone at a time.”
Bailey brings more than 15 years of restaurant and franchising experience to Kono Pizza USA, seven of which were spent at Edible Arrangements International. Bailey served as the vice president of operations at Edible Arrangements, overseeing all aspects of store operations, training, and management. During his tenure, he led the expansion of the brand from 85 domestic units to more than 1,000 operating stores in eight countries, managed the in-house training program, and delivered on-site support to new store locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Prior to that, Bailey served as a franchise field business consultant with the International Dairy Queen Corporation, where he oversaw 50 restaurants throughout the northeast U.S. market.Bailey also was the director of operations for Locals 8 Restaurant Holdings, the parent company of three innovate food concepts: Plan B Burger Bar, Tisane Euro-Asian Café, and The Half Door European Beer Bar & Irish Gastro-Pub.
“We look forward to benefitting from Matt’s insight and expertise as we pursue our goal of becoming the preeminent fast-casual pizza brand in America," says Kono Pizza USA cofounder Carlo Ruggiero.
Kono Pizza USA was established in the U.S. in 2013 by seasoned entrepreneurs David Ragosa and Carlo Ruggiero, who took the already popular European pizza-in-a-cone concept—which has 130 locations in 20 countries—and catapulted it into the U.S. marketplace with sights set on disrupting the pizza industry. In 2014, Kono Pizza USA signed franchise deals that will bring a total of 17 new restaurants to North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and California.