Atlanta-based Tin Drum Asian Kitchen announced the restaurant has hired a team of operation and business development experts to bolster the growing fast casual concept as it prepares for new growth. The team will create processes to streamline its operations for high volume sales and provide business support to potential and current franchisees. Tin Drum Asian Kitchen recently announced a five-unit deal for Houston and will be opening its first restaurant in the Savannah, GA area this fall
The new hires include James Tipton as senior operations manager; Tony Flannigan as operations manager; John Vey as operations support specialist; and Erika Lewis as development associate. Combined, the new team members have more than 35 years of restaurant experience and have worked for well-known brands, including P.F. Chang’s Bistro, Longhorn Steakhouse, Tropical Smoothie, and more.
James Tipton has 15 years of experience in both the restaurant operations and financial markets. Prior to joining Tin Drum, Tipton was an operating partner with P.F. Chang’s Bistro, where he managed operations, human resources and analytics and metrics for the restaurant. In his new role with Tin Drum, Tipton will be responsible for building operational systems as well as franchise support.
Tony Flannigan has worked for Tin Drum for three years and was promoted to operations manager. He has 15 years of experience working for some of the best brands in the industry, both in operations and culinary. He started his career with Tin Drum as manager of the Newnan, Ga., restaurant and then moved to the corporate operations. In his new role with the company, Flannigan will be implementing all operational systems across the brand with field improvement feedback loop to the company.
John Vey is a former multi-unit general manager for Tin Drum and has returned to the company to focus on enhancing and enforcing culinary operational excellence. He joins Tin Drum from P.F. Chang’s, where he worked under new hire James Tipton, and led the company’s Certified Training Team. While at P.F. Chang’s, Vey was recognized for driving, leading, and executing excellence within the operations team. He brings over 10 years of hands-on culinary experience to Tin Drum Team and is the go-to guy for high-volume execution strategies and demonstration.
Erika Lewis has spent her career in the design and construction business, most recently working for Tin Drum’s sister brand Tropical Smoothie Cafe. There she worked to support new franchise partners on everything from branding, marketing and real estate development. At Tin Drum, she will be the key figure in the pre-opening processes, facility compliance, and built environment research and development.
“The next year is going to be a busy one for Tin Drum as we execute our expansion plans beyond Georgia,” says Tin Drum CEO Steven Chan. “It’s important that we have the right team in place to handle operations and development and we now have an experienced group of leaders well-positioned to do the job.”
The restaurant’s franchise growth is backed by the private equity firm BIP Capital, majority owner of Tropical Smoothie, who has invested more than $250 million in emerging, high-growth brands across the franchising, software, technology and consumer products industries. BIP Capital leverages its leadership team's deep franchise experience to help emerging brands accelerate growth.
Known for its Pan-Asian menu that transports guests to a street side café in Asia, complete with hawker style cuisine and atmosphere, Tin Drum delivers a mash-up of bold flavors of Asia’s greatest hits as well as new “Not In A Bowl” items inspired by the cultures of China, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Japan, Korea, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. Some menu favorites include the Tikka Masala, Singapore Curry Noodles, Thai Curry with Coconut Milk, Korean Fried Chicken Sliders, Saigon Summer Salad, and the addictive Crab and Cheese Spring Rolls. Each meal is prepared to-order using fresh, simple and specialty Asian ingredients served in an environment that evokes the hustle and bustle of a classic Hong Kong-style dai pai dong, or curbside café.