Veggie Grill, the fast-casual restaurant concept known for preparing veggies in innovative ways, today announced the appointment of Steve Heeley as chief operating officer. Heeley joins Veggie Grill from Florida-based Earl of Sandwich, where he was CEO. Steve will add leadership for the company’s continued growth outside of its California and West Coast markets, having been CEO or COO of four different restaurant brands, including top posts at fast-casual restaurants Au Bon Pain and Baja Fresh. He will report directly to Chief Executive Officer Greg Dollarhyde.
“I’m excited for Steve’s addition to our Veggie Grill team as he is a successful operator who will lead and support our continued growth trajectory,” says Dollarhyde. “Steve and I have built a company together before and I know him to be a solid leader with high integrity and deep, relevant experience.”
“Veggie Grill has established itself as one of the most innovative concepts in the restaurant industry,” says Heeley. “I am thrilled to join the team during this exciting fast growth phase and look forward to advancing Veggie Grill’s commitment of bringing vegetables to the center of our guests plates in fun and unique ways.”
At Earl of Sandwich, Heely was responsible for the chain’s 30 percent annualized growth domestically and internationally over the past two years. Prior to Earl of Sandwich, Heeley held executive positions with Au Bon Pain, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, and has made a life-long career of the restaurant industry. Steve received his MBA from Madison University in Wisconsin.