Longtime Chipotle exec named Fresh Brothers COO

Longtime Chipotle exec named Fresh Brothers COO

Fresh Brothers has added a couple of well-known industry vets to its leadership team. Former Chipotle Mexican Grill director of operations and Darden Specialty Restaurant Group president Houman Iskandani has joined Fresh Brothers as its COO, while the former Yard House Restaurant president and founding partner, Harald Hermann, has joined the pizza chain's advisory board, according to a company press release.

Iskandani started at Chipotle as a restaurant manager when the concept had 24 units. From there, he ascended into additional roles within the company, opening the Iowa, California and New England markets. Eventually, he became the director of operations, where he played a major role in growing the company to more than 2,300 units by 2016.

"It was time to bring someone like Iskandani into our leadership team — he has a true understanding of managing both day-to-day operations and customer service at a very high level and that will play a huge role in our growth," Fresh Brothers founder and CEO Adam Goldberg, said in the release. 

Iskandani has more than 25 years of operations, management and customer service experience in the restaurant industry. As COO of Fresh Brothers, he is responsible for leading the daily operations at all 19 stores in Southern California and the future expansion of Fresh Brothers outside of California.

At Darden's Specialty Restaurant Group, Herrmann helped launch the flagship Yard House in 1996, and led the company’s development and expansion into new markets. He was named president and CEO until the Darden acquisition in 2012, and previously served as chair of the California Restaurant Association Board of Directors in 2011, following seven previous years of board membership. 

The new addition to the leadership team follows last year's significant equity investment in Fresh Brothers from Southern California investor group, Nolan Capital Inc., the release said.

Fresh Brothers ha 19 Southern California locations.

Photo: iStock

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Human Resources

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