Former Michael Mina Group CEO Bill Freeman, left, has been named chief executive of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Shula’s Restaurant Group, the company said Monday.
The move comes along with several other exec changes at the multiconcept group, founded in 1989 by former Miami Dolphin’s coach Don Shula. The group includes five brands with more than 29 units in eight states, including Shula’s Steak House; Shula’s 2 Steak & Sports; Shula’s 347 Grill; Shula’s Bar & Grill; and Shula Burger.
Freeman — who has also held chief executive roles at Bertucci’s Italian Restaurants, McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants and Fox Sports Grill — replaces former CEO Mary Anne Shula, Don Shula’s wife, who remains chairman of the board.
“We are confident that Bill Freeman is the perfect person to lead Shula’s Restaurant Group into the future,” she said in a statement. “Under his leadership and with his wide experience in management and hospitality, we know that we are putting our family’s corporate legacy in capable hands.”
In addition, Shula’s announced several other C-suite changes:
Shardul Kiri, above left, who also comes from the Mina Group, was named chief brand and marketing officer. Kiri served previously as Mina Group’s vice president of marketing, sales and brand development.
Demetrio Zavala, above center, was named corporate culinary director, a newly created role. His previous experience includes work in the kitchen at Eleven Madison Park, Le Bernardin, Aureole, Union Pacific and Café Boulud. He has also competed on several episodes of the TV shows “Chopped” and “Beat Bobby Flay.”
Gordon Gilbert, above right, is Shula’s new director of operations. His resume includes stints at several Nobu locations, as well as restaurants within Wynn Resorts Las Vegas, The Ventana Room in Tucson, Ariz., and Joel Robuchon’s L’Atelier concept at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout