NEW YORK, NY, August 03, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Energy Kitchen, a Manhattan-based fast-casual chain whose health-centric menu features no menu item that exceeds 500 calories, announces the appointment of franchise veteran Michael J. Lerman as Director of Operations.
Lerman, who most recently served as COO of TRUFOODS, the franchisor of some of the most highly-regarded food franchise names in America, will be responsible for enhancing Energy Kitchen's operational efficiencies. He will oversee all corporate and franchise stores, as well as manage the company's training and development needs.
"Michael has been a great addition to our leadership team and will play a valuable role in our growth and success as we continue to expand and develop the Energy Kitchen brand coast-to-coast," said Anthony Leone, Founder and President of Energy Kitchen.
Lerman has more than 25 years of experience in the franchise industry, including an eight-year tenure as the vice president at Hollywood Tans responsible for managing the operations and training for all 320 of the brand's salons. Lerman also spent significant time as a managing partner at Chili's Restaurants and multi-unit operations consultant at McDonald's Corporation.
The appointment comes on the heels of a monumental year for Energy Kitchen that saw the burgeoning brand sign nearly 80 development agreements along the east coast, including deals in Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C. Today, Energy Kitchen operates 10 restaurants throughout the greater New York metropolitan area and plans for 1,000 locations across the United States in the next 10 years.
"Energy Kitchen continues to experience spectacular growth, as it further establishes itself as the premier concept in the healthy, fast-casual industry," Lerman said. "I couldn't be more excited about my role with the company and look forward to helping guide the franchise to its next stage of operational success."
Founded by Anthony Leone and partner Randy Schechter in 2003, Manhattan-based Energy Kitchen is a healthy, fast-casual restaurant that provides nutritious and convenient meal choices by offering healthy burgers, wraps, salads and smoothies. Everything on the menu is 500 calories or less and is grilled, baked or steamed, never fried, and cooked to order. Behind the strength of a 2008 investment partnership with Mike Repole, the co-founder of Vitaminwater which sold to Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion, Energy Kitchen has already grown the concept to 10 restaurants throughout the greater New York metropolitan area and recently launched a national expansion plan calling for 1,000 locations in the next 10 years. For more information visit http://www.energykitchen.com, become a Facebook fan at http://www.facebook.com/energykitchen or follow the health-centric concept on Twitter @Energy_Kitchen.