Former Ruby Tuesday president and chief operating officer Kimberly Grant has joined celebrity chef José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup as chief operating officer.

Grant is replacing Hollis Silverman, who had been TFG's chief operating officer since April 2009.

Previously, Grant was chief operating officer of Ruby Tuesday Inc., parent company of 779-unit casual-dining Ruby Tuesday chain and of 29-unit fast-casual chain Lime Fresh, until June of last year, when she was replaced by Todd Burrowes.

“We could not be more proud to have Kimberly join us. She will add enormous value to our company as we continue to refine our operations, innovate and evolve our bold growth strategy,” ThinkFoodGroup chief executive Rob Wilder said in a press release.

TFG said Grant's appointment is the latest move in the development of the the Washington, D.C.-based company, which took on equity partners, including Fred Schaufeld and Todd Klein of N.E.W. and SWaN & Legend Venture Partners; Mike Klein, chairman and co-founder of the CoStar Group Inc.; and Jon Riberas, head of Gonvarri, a global manufacturing and renewable energy company based in Madrid, Spain. The company plans to open four new restaurants in Washington, D.C., northern Virginia and Las Vegas in 2014.

Andrés met Grant seven years ago at Blackberry Farm, an award-winning resort and restaurant in Walland, Tenn., where she is on the board of directors, according to the release.

"Kimberly has been a good friend,” said Andrés. “She is a very hands-on leader with amazing vision and ideas, and for us, she will focus on developing our people, our practices and our organization.”

ThinkFoodGroup currently operates 14 restaurants in Washington, D.C.; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; and Dorado, Puerto Rico. The company's brands include Mexican eateries Café Atlantico and Oyamel, Eastern Mediterranean Zaytinya and avant-garde Minibar.

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