Tin Drum Asiacafé Names Industry Veterans Ray Biondi and Joe Ippolito to Leadership Team

Pan Asian, Fresh Casual Franchise Boosts Franchise and Operations Teams with Seven New Hires

September 16, 2013 // Franchising.com // ATLANTA – Atlanta-based fast casual franchise, Tin Drum Asiacafé, has added seven new positions to it leadership and corporate support team to shore up its substantial franchise and corporate growth. Two industry veterans, both from Arby’s Restaurant Group, will join the leadership team in new roles - Ray Biondi as Chief Operating Officer and Joe Ippolito as Vice President of Operations.

With more than 30 years’ experience in the restaurant industry, Biondi was previously Senior Vice President of Franchise Management for Arby’s and 2,500 of its restaurants. He also was a partner and SVP at RTM, Arby’s largest franchisee, for nearly 10 years.

A pioneer in the industry, in 1983, Biondi was on the founding team of D’Lites of America, one of the first QSR concepts to offer fast food with an emphasis on nutrition. As Executive Vice President, Biondi helped the restaurant concept grow to more than 100 restaurants.

“I’ve seen the potential grow for quality food done quickly, which attracted me to the Tin Drum concept,” said Biondi. “Founder Steven Chan backs up his concept with conscientious menu development, an efficient process, and units that deliver a strong return on investment. With a strong financial partner, BIP Opportunities Fund, I saw a winning formula at Tin Drum and a remarkable opportunity for franchisees.”

Ippolito is a restaurant and franchise industry veteran with a 25-year track record of driving unit growth, profits, guest experience, real estate selection and training/developing people. As Vice President of Operations at Arby's, he was credited with leading their most profitable region in the Midwest, as well as overseeing numerous restaurant and product initiatives. He has also worked with such brands as Firehouse Subs, Tim Horton's and Boston Market.

With 13 restaurants in Atlanta and in Augusta, the Pan Asian concept, Tin Drum recently announced multi-unit openings across central Florida and in Nashville, Tenn. and launched aggressive strategic development initiatives, to be supported by the growing team.

“We have hired industry leaders with exceptional experience at developing systems, people and culture to aggressively grow the Tin Drum brand,” said Steven Chan, CEO and Founder of Tin Drum Asiacafe. “We are providing our franchisees with the resources for their success.”

Also from Arby’s Restaurant Group, Jen Forbes joins Tin Drum as the new Director of Training for franchisees and Dawn Agueros brings expertise to the new role of Director of Human Resources. Amy McQuiston has been named Manager of Administration.

Tin Drum will add a new marketing team member, appointing Elisa Gumbel, formerly with Atlanta-based Mellow Mushroom, to Marketing Director.

Jon Schinelli, who has been a franchisee for eight years and was the opening manager for the original Georgia Tech restaurant, takes on a new role of Operations Support Manager.

To meet the needs of its fast-growing team, Tin Drum has moved its corporate headquarters to Roswell, Georgia.

About Tin Drum Asiacafé

Atlanta-based Tin Drum Asiacafé features Asian street-inspired cuisine at its 13 southeastern locations, made fresh to order and at a great value. Recently named “One to Watch” by QSR magazine, Tin Drum’s Pan Asian menu features more than 35 items made with Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian influences and 15 signature sauces. Certified by HealthyDiningFinder, the concept features menu options for individual dietary goals including gluten-free menu and vegetarian options. The fast-growing chain offers franchising opportunities throughout the Southeast. For more information, visit www.tindrumcafe.com or join Tin Drum on Facebook.

BIP Opportunities Fund is an Atlanta-based investment firm focused on providing capital and operational support to emerging, high-growth companies. The firm seeks to invest between $2 million to $10 million in companies with revenues up to $25 million. Investments will generally be based within the Southeast but BIP remains opportunistic to other domestically-based investment opportunities. Industry sectors covered include technology, healthcare, business services, franchising, and specialty finance. For additional information on BIP Opportunities Fund, please visit www.bipfunds.com

SOURCE Tin Drum Asiacafé

Media Contact:

Ellen Hartman
(678) 399-3335


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With 12 locations throughout Atlanta, Ga., Tin Drum Asian Kitchen, a fast casual concept focused on fresh, bold, Asian flavors, is inspired by music and the street-side cafes of Asia.


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