Penn Station East Coast Subs, the fast-casual restaurant known for its grilled, made-to-order sub sandwiches, hand-squeezed lemonade and fresh-cut fries, has announced two key executive promotions. Lance Vaught has been promoted from Senior Vice President of Operations to President and Craig Dunaway has been promoted from President to Chief Operating Officer.
“Penn Station is poised for major growth in the next five to seven years, and these promotions were warranted and necessary to ensure our great team can continue to support our franchisees and the brand while we grow,” says Jeff Osterfeld, founder and CEO of Penn Station. “Craig and Lance have been with Penn Station for a combined 39 years and both have an excellent track record and are very well respected in the industry and the franchise community. I know franchisees, and the brand as a whole, are in great hands as we move toward eventually having 600 locations.”
Dunaway joined Penn Station as president in 1999. Before joining Penn Station Inc., Dunaway was a partner at the regional accounting firm of McCauley, Nicolas & Company, LLC in Louisville, Kentucky where he had worked since 1982 in various staff and managerial positions. He also previously had ownership interests in a Papa John’s franchisee with 11 locations and 18 Penn Station franchise locations, in both developed and developing markets. Dunaway has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is still a licensed CPA.
In his new role as chief operating officer, Dunaway will focus on steering the Penn Station brand to 600+ locations. He will oversee the implementation of Penn Station’s growth strategies while making sure the brand continues to invest in the infrastructure necessary to support this growth. With more than three decades of experience in the restaurant industry and 23 years with Penn Station specifically, Dunaway is well prepared to spearhead Penn Station’s growth over the next chapter of the brand’s 37-year history.
“We’ve always been an operationally centric brand,” Dunaway says. “In 2019, we wanted to ensure we aligned our growth strategy with our operational capabilities. With the implementation of our PS 2020 menu and restaurant design, which positions the brand in consumers’ minds for the next 15 years, we recognized it was time to execute a more aggressive growth strategy. We recruited a new Vice President of Development and Strategy and built an experienced development team in 2021. We’re already seeing success from these strategic moves, and we have now aligned our entire team to support our aggressive growth.”
Vaught joined Penn Station in 2006 as an area representative after two summer internships. He quickly moved into the area representative manager role and then director of operations before being promoted to vice president of operations in 2016. He has has steered the brand’s award-winning restaurant operations and training departments and will now focus more specifically on day-to-day operations of the business as a whole.
“The determination displayed by our franchisees and the team at Penn Station, Inc. pushed the brand to unprecedented levels of success despite the challenges caused by COVID, supply chain disruptions and labor shoratages,” Vaught says. “We experienced record sales and have approximately 100 new locations in our development pipeline heading into 2022 and beyond. Now is the time to ensure we are providing both new and existing franchisees the same superior level of support that has positioned the brand so well over the last 37 years. It is a great time for the brand, and the future is incredibly bright.”