Smashburger Co-Founder Tom Ryan Named Chief Brand Officer

Visionary Food and Flavor Icon Tapped to Guide Brand into Next Phase of Growth

DENVER - May 2, 2016 // PRNewswire // - Smashburger, the nation's fastest growing "better burger" concept, today announced that company co-Founder and food industry icon Tom Ryan will assume the role of Chief Brand Officer, spearheading brand evolution as the company expands its operations and global ambitions. Ryan and partner Rick Schaden co-founded Smashburger in 2007 to bring an elevated food and hospitality burger concept to market. Ryan has since served as Chief Concept Officer, overseeing product development and quality standards.

A longtime industry veteran and visionary, Ryan has held top branding, marketing and product development positions at Procter & Gamble, McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Quiznos. He is responsible for developing and launching some of the most iconic and best-selling menu items in food-service history, including the McGriddle, the Stuffed Crust Pizza and the Steakhouse Beef Dip. Tom's innovative and food-forward mindset are infused throughout the Smashburger experience.

"As we set an aggressive growth pace, maintaining the integrity of the Smashburger brand is paramount," commented Rick Schaden, Chairman and Co-Founder of Smashburger. "There is no better person than Tom to guide the evolution of the Smashburger brand as we enter this next phase of growth at home and abroad. His vision and passion have always been at the heart of Smashburger."  

The announcement follows the recent appointment of Mike Nolan as Smashburger CEO and a significant recapitalization of Smashburger completed in Q4 2015.  In late 2015 Smashburger announced a new 40% strategic partnership with Jollibee Foods Corporation (PSE:JFC), the largest Asian food service company with more than 3,000 stores worldwide.

"Smashburger is at an inflection point," said Tom Ryan. "I'm excited at the prospect of taking on a more active, day-to-day role and working with the talented team that Josh Kern, our Chief Marketing Officer has assembled. All the ingredients are in place to take Smashburger to the next level as we restore burgers to their rightful place."

Smashburger currently operates and is in development in more than 365 restaurants across the United States, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Canada, El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Smashburger will continue to grow at a strong pace with a mission of bringing great burgers back to Americans and sharing them with the world.

For more information on Smashburger, please visit www.smashburger.com or check us out on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

About Smashburger

Smashburger is a leading fast casual "better burger" restaurant known for its fresh never frozen, 100% Certified Angus Beef® burgers that are smashed on the grill to sear in the juices, creating an upscale quality burger packed with flavor and served at a great value. In addition to burgers, Smashburger offers grilled or crispy chicken sandwiches, fresh salads, signature side items such as Haystack onions and Veggie Frites, and hand-spun Haagen-Dazs® shakes. On each market menu, Smashburger offers locally inspired items like the regional burger, as well as regional sides and local craft beer. Smashburger began in 2007 with the vision of Rick Schaden and funding by Consumer Capital Partners—the private equity firm that Rick and his father Richard own. There are currently over 365 corporate and franchise restaurants operating in 35 states and seven countries. To learn more, visit http://smashburger.com

SOURCE Smashburger

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