- Ascent Hospitality Management named Toni Ronayne as president of Perkins Restaurant & Bakery and Steven Roach as Ascent’s chief technology officer, the company said in a Monday press release.
- Both executives started on Monday, according to an email sent to Restaurant Dive. They have around 15 years of restaurant experience each, with Ronayne most recently serving as managing director, Canada at Little Caesars. Roach previously served as SVP, CIO at Focus Brands.
- The new executives follow the appointment of Blain Shortreed as Huddle House’s brand president in December and James O’Reilly as Ascent’s CEO in June.
The appointment of brand presidents for Huddle House and Perkins are part of Ascent’s strategy to build industry leading brands, O’Reilly said in the press release.
Under Ascent Management, both Perkins and Huddle House shifted into growth mode after several years of virtually no growth. Over the past two years, Ascent signed over 70 franchise agreements and continues to attract more franchise interest. The company has also been bolstering franchisee profitability with the likes of virtual brands like Bakery By Perkins, which has helped drive sales at Perkins, especially among consumers who like the restaurant for its robust baked goods menu.
The company is also moving toward becoming a digital leader and is driving various technology initiatives, O’Reilly said in the press release. Roach will be responsible for developing and leading brand-specific technologies, per the press release. Ascent said it is working on “becoming a world class shared services provider for its franchise systems and company operations.” As SVP, CIO at Focus, he developed and executed a technology roadmap.
As Perkins president, Ronayne will be in charge of accelerating the brand’s growth across franchised and company-owned locations. In addition to her past role at Little Caesars, where she led the growth and performance of the chain’s Canadian restaurants, she also served as VP of global franchise development at Freshii and regional director of Canada and Northeast U.S. for Starbucks’ Teavana division, per the press release.
“Through innovative technology solutions that are aligned with our company's mission, we will look to enhance operational efficiency for our franchisees and strengthen the overall dining experience for our customers,” Roach said in the press release.