Name: Kendall Ware
New title: Chief operating officer, Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux
Previous title: Chief operating officer, In-Shape Health Clubs
Ware joins the Walk-On’s team roughly 30 days after Chris Dawson became CEO of the sports bar brand. He brings decades of restaurant and franchising experience to the role, including stints as president and CEO of several well-known brands. In his new position, he will oversee all operational aspects of the brand and drive expansion.
“His strategic vision and strong leadership will play a pivotal role in enhancing the brand's national presence,” the company said in the press release.
What’s on Ware’s plate: Among Ware’s biggest challenges is ensuring the expanding chain maintains a high-level of customer service across both company-owned and franchised units. Walk-On’s, which currently has over 70 units open, has a pipeline of over 100 locations. The chain’s goal is to open 20 to 25 U.S. restaurants per year, and it expects to open its 100th location in the first quarter of 2024. 10 Points Capital Managing Director Scott Pressly previously said Walk-On’s will be a 500-unit brand in the future. The chain also developed a smaller 6,000-square-foot model, called Wildcat, that has 200 seats compared to its typical 8,000-square-foot design.
Kendall Ware’s restaurant resume:
- December 2020 - January 2022: President, chief brand officer, Cinnabon
- December 2020 - December 2021: President, chief brand officer, Carvel Corporation
- November 2019 - December 2020: CEO, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
- November 2017 - November 2019: President, Chief operating officer, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
- November 2015 - November 2017: Vice president of operations and franchise support, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
- May 2012 - November 2015: Director of training and operations services, Cicis
- April 2010 - May 2012: Operating partner, multi-unit/new market development, Genghis Grill
- February 2009 - April 2010: Franchise business consultant, Genghis Grill
- January 2007 - February 2009: Lead corporate trainer/training director, Genghis Grill