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From emerging concepts to watch like Zoës Kitchen to the largest restaurant company in the world, McDonald's, leadership is always the driving force behind successful brands. Nation's Restaurant News points to 10 restaurant executives to watch in 2013 from brands such as Popeyes, California Pizza Kitchen, Sbarro and more.
CEO, Sbarro Inc.
Known as the turnaround artist behind Breugger’s Bagels and part orchestrator of the chain’s private equity purchase and sale — one of the most successful private-equity deals in the industry — Greco joined the 1,013-unit Sbarro in February 2012.
The quick-service Italian brand had just exited from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring and now is looking to retool with a refreshed menu, refurbished locations and a return to growth. The new menu includes a Neapolitan-style pizza, which tested well last summer and fall, and a switch to made-to-order pastas, which required new equipment and ingredients. Sbarro is also looking into new salads, desserts and handheld menu options that would fit well into its shopping mall operating environment.
Sbarro is also looking to leave its quick-service roots and make its way into the popular fast-casual arena. As Greco told Nation’s Restaurant News in April 2012: “The vision is to be the preeminent fast-casual Italian brand worldwide. We think it is a space that fits Sbarro well and one which nobody of any size has yet claimed. And we think it is one we can own in a relatively short period of time.”