May 05, 2011 // Franchising.com // ADDISON, Texas – Twin Peaks Restaurants has hired Rick Akam, the man who led Hooters of America Inc. as it emerged as one of the most popular sports restaurants of its kind, as Chief Operating Officer of Twin Peaks Restaurants.
Akam will oversee the operations and expansion of Twin Peaks into a major national chain of high-caliber sports restaurants. Akam joins an executive team that includes Twin Peaks' co-founders, CEO Randy DeWitt and CFO Scott Gordon, and President Jack Gibbons. Akam will report to Gibbons.
"We're extremely excited to bring Rick into the Twin Peaks family," said DeWitt. "To execute our growth plans, it's critical for us to attract the right people for the right positions, and Rick's experience and pedigree make his addition to the team a no-brainer. He knows what our target market expects better than just about anyone."
Louisville, Ky. native Akam joined then-nascent Hooters as a general manager in 1984, and he rose through the executive ranks as quickly as the concept grew. He assumed the top position of President and CEO in 1995 and oversaw the chain's franchise-driven explosion before leaving in 2003. He then served as COO for Raving Brands and First Watch Restaurants, helping those enterprises shore up operational efficiencies and to develop a franchising plan, respectively, before founding his own restaurant consulting firm in early 2009. He started the newly created position at Twin Peaks in May of 2011.
"I'm very impressed by the Twin Peaks commitment to deliver superior food made fresh in house, and its ice-cold draft program sets a new standard for the industry. With attributes like this, there is no question that the concept is poised to grow quickly, both in corporate and franchise opportunities. I look forward contributing to the aggressive development of the Twin Peaks Family," said Akam.
Just six years after the original opened in Lewisville, Texas, Twin Peaks has opened 14 locations in four states, garnering it a prestigious "Hot Concept!" award in 2010 from Nation's Restaurant News.
Through an aggressive franchising effort, the company plans to launch a dozen new restaurants by the end of next year. Target markets include Chicago, Phoenix, Tucson, Denver, Colorado Springs, Little Rock, New Orleans, Birmingham, and Nashville.
"Based on the exceptional success we are experiencing with both existing and new restaurants, we are convinced that now is the time to be even more aggressive in our efforts to take the Twin Peaks concept into new markets," DeWitt said. "Rick is just the man to help us do that because he's done it before."
Founded in 2005 in the Dallas suburb of Lewisville by successful restaurant veterans Randy DeWitt and Scott Gordon to meet the needs of an untapped market, Twin Peaks features quality food and ice cold draft beer served by friendly and attractive Twin Peaks Girls in a mountain sports lodge setting. Named a "2010 Hot Concept!" by Nation's Restaurant News, the regional chain has 15 restaurants in Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska , New Mexico, and Kansas. Twin Peaks expects to open at least 5 new restaurants in 2011 and at least 10 more in 2012. More information on Twin Peaks, including locations and franchise information, is available at TwinPeaksRestaurant.com.