Name: Dominique Bertolone
New title: Brinker International SVP, president of Maggiano’s Little Italy
Previous title: SVP of food and beverage strategy and development, MGM Resorts International
Brinker has named Dominique Bertolone as president of its Italian-themed casual dining brand, Maggiano’s Little Italy. Prior to joining Brinker, Bertolone worked at MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas, where he “oversaw strategy development and execution around the company's vast portfolio of restaurants, bars, lounges and nightlife venues.”
At Brinker, Bertolone will lead the 52-unit Italian brand as it seeks to resume unit growth. Bertolone, who is from Monaco, a minor city-state on the Mediterranean near the French-Italian border, cited his background as a reason he was excited to lead the brand.
“This role will allow me to blend my passions for amazing people, team culture, food, drinks, and Guest service standards — all rooted in my own Italian roots,” Bertolone said.
In the first quarter of Brinker’s fiscal year 2024, Maggiano’s saw traffic slide by 5.7%, though 9.5% price increases enabled the brand to reach moderate same-store sales growth. Brinker CEO Kevin Hochman said the brand was looking forward to the holiday season, and that Maggiano’s was seeing a steady, though gradual, recovery in its event business, referred to as banquets.
Hochman said some of the traffic decline was attributable to Brinker’s decision to stop selling the Its Just Wings virtual brand through Maggiano’s locations. Maggiano’s system shrank from 53 stores in FY 2022 to 52 in FY 2023, which drove down the brand’s revenue despite modest same-store sales growth in that time, according to the company’s latest 10-Q.