Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc. chief restaurant officer Brian Unger said Friday that he will retire, effective July 18.
Manny Hilario, Einstein’s chief financial officer, will replace Unger in what the company described as a planned executive succession. Hilario will hold the title of chief operations officer. The company said a search is underway to fill the CFO position.
“On behalf of the entire Einstein Noah team, I would like to thank Brian for his many contributions and wish him well with his retirement plans. Brian deserves our recognition for his disciplined approach in building and managing our restaurant operations during his tenure along with his leadership on a number of key initiatives,” Jeffrey O’Neill, Einstein Noah president and chief executive, said in a statement.
Unger, who previously served as a McDonald’s Corp. executive for 25 years, joined Lakewood, Colo.-based Einstein in March 2011 as executive vice president of operations.
Over the past two years, he has led the rollout of a new coffee program, the launch of a healthful Smart Choices menu platform, growth in catering sales and cost-cutting efforts. During that time, the company also recapitalized debt after a strategic review.
As part of the planned succession, Hilario has expanded his role over the past year to include direct operating responsibility for Einstein Bros. Bagels licensed locations and franchised Manhattan Bagel restaurants, the company said.
“Manny is a highly respected leader within the Einstein Noah system, not only for his financial expertise, but also as an insightful and results-driven restaurateur. I am pleased to have Manny take on this expanded leadership role and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him as a strategic partner to further strengthen our operations team,” O’Neill said.
Publicly traded Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc. operates, franchises and licenses more than 820 restaurants under the Einstein Bros., Noah’s New York Bagels and Manhattan Bagels brands.