Tavistock Restaurants named John T. Bettin as chief executive officer of its Upscale Collection of restaurants. Bettin will oversee Tavistock's numerous award-winning Upscale Collection concepts, including Abe & Louie's, AquaKnox, Napa Valley Grille, California Cafe, Atlantic Fish, Coach Grill, ZED451, Joe's American Bar & Grill, Blackhawk Grille, Timpano Italian Chophouse, Cafe del Rey, Taqueria Canonita, and Sapporo.
With more than 30 years of restaurant industry experience, Bettin has worked with some of the most well-known hospitality dining brands, notably The Palm and Morton's of Chicago, where he led both companies as CEO and president, respectively. Along with his diverse range of expertise, spanning from the back and front of the house to the corporate office, Bettin is well positioned to strengthen and grow Tavistock's collection of award-winning brands.
"I am thrilled to welcome John to our company," says Charles B. Lewis, chairman of Tavistock Restaurants. "He has the depth and breadth of experience to lead our upscale portfolio of restaurants today and to help us find new avenues of growth going forward. John brings the proper temperament and commitment to further our goal of making Tavistock Restaurants one of the most desired restaurant collections for professionals to build careers and for patrons to enjoy special dining experiences."
Most recently serving as the CEO of the 88-year-old iconic Palm Restaurant Group, Bettin's operational discipline and entrepreneurial vision for 29 restaurants successfully guided the company through the recent recession with a repositioned brand and new prototype designs, producing an organization poised for future growth.
Bettin says his passion for the industry started in the kitchen. He began his career on the culinary side as an executive chef for Houlihan's and eventually rose to become senior vice president of concept development at Gilbert/Robinson. Bettin spent several years as executive vice president of operations for Capital Restaurant Concepts and nearly a decade as president of Morton's of Chicago, where he led the restaurant through a vibrant expansion phase including development of the Bar 12-21 concept. After a short time at Potbelly Sandwich Works as COO and senior vice president, Bettin joined Buca as president and COO, eventually becoming the company's CEO.
"Tavistock Restaurants has fantastic brands, is entrepreneurial, and well capitalized for future growth," Bettin says. "Charlie has charged me with strengthening our company, maximizing the potential of our existing brands, and tasked me to look for additional growth opportunities within Tavistock Group's portfolio as well as outside acquisitions."
Bettin will be located in Orlando, Florida, the new headquarter location for Tavistock Restaurants Upscale Collection. This strategic move coincides with Tavistock's fast-casual burrito concept Freebirds World Burrito's move to Austin, Texas.