As it embarks on a major initiative to reinvigorate the brand, Sbarro announced today that it has appointed food industry veteran George Wooten as senior vice president of operations.

Wooten will oversee all aspects of operations to ensure product and service quality and consistency as Sbarro repositions itself in the marketplace to become the preeminent fast-casual Italian brand worldwide. 

“The position of senior vice president of operations will be instrumental in advancing the growth of the company,” says James Greco, Sbarro president and CEO. “Given his proven track record in overseeing domestic and international restaurant and retail operations, George will be a valuable asset as we introduce new recipes, cooking equipment, and a new prototype design throughout the Sbarro system.”

Most recently, Wooten served as senior vice president, casual dining for M.H. Alshaya Co., the largest retail company in the Middle East. Prior to Alshaya, Wooten held the position of EVP and COO at Centerplate, one of largest hospitality companies in the world, with more than 250 North American sports, entertainment and convention venues. He also served as senior group vice president at Safeway Inc. 

Earlier in his career, Wooten held the position of senior vice president of operations for The Quiznos Master, where he was responsible for more than 5,000 Quiznos locations in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, as well as Arby’s, Inc., where he oversaw operations of more than 300 Arby’s restaurants.

Earlier this year, Greco announced that the company would be introducing a series of operational and menu changes, beginning with 10 units throughout the United States. The test units are in including Raleigh, North Carolina; Providence, Rhode Island; Columbus, Ohio; West Palm Beach, Florida; Chicago; Happy Valley, Oregon; National City, California; Phoenix; Exton, Pennsylvania; and Houston.

At these units, Sbarro will unveil new pizza recipes prepared on new open-flame ovens, as well as made-to-order pasta stations, complete with either sauté pans and induction cooktops or fast boilers.

Employee Management, News, Pizza, Sbarro