Smashburger CEO trades burgers for pizza

Former Smashburger President and CEO Scott Crane has moved to the top job at Pizza Inn and Pie Five, owned by Rave Restaurant Group, according to a news release. Crane succeeds interim CEO Clinton J. Coleman, who will remain in his role as board member, where he has served since 2007. Coleman had taken over last year when Rand Gier resigned from the position.

Smashburger's founder, Tom Ryan, said in an email to FastCasual, that he is now acting CEO of the better-burger brand. 

Crane is credited with leading Smashburger development from a two-unit, start-up 10 years ago to the international company it is today with more than 330 locations in 35 states and seven countries, according to the release. The company had sales of more than $350 million at the time of Crane's departure last year.

"Scott is a dynamic leader with a proven track record of growth with success," Mark Schwarz, chairman of Rave, said in the release. "An entrepreneur at an early age, Scott's restaurant industry focus has led to a succession of managerial roles of progressively greater responsibility and achievement throughout his career, including most recently growing the Smashburger concept from scratch to a thriving, profitable business that led to its highly successful transaction with Jollibee Foods Corporation last year at an enterprise valuation of $335 million."

Before joining Smashburger, Crane was at Fugate Enterprises Inc., one of the largest Pizza Hut franchisees in the country, where he was responsible for the operation of 210 Pizza Hut units, in addition to Taco Bell, Wing Street, Sonic and Blockbuster Video locations.

"Scott is an exceptional leader who will contribute greatly to the culture, growth and success at Rave," Schwarz said. "I am confident his expertise and keen understanding of the fast casual category will be a true asset to the continuing development of our company."

Crane said he is excited to lead Rave into its next phase of success.

"I look forward to working with the Rave team as we unlock the enormous potential of the Pie Five concept and continue to introduce consumers to the new and growing category of fast casual pizza," he said. "I also have tremendous respect for and am excited to lead Pizza Inn, a brand rich with tradition that has served more than three generations of American families."


Topics: Franchising & Growth

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