True Food Kitchen names Christine Barone CEO

True Food Kitchen names Christine Barone CEO

Former Starbucks executive to head 13-unit casual-dining brand’s expansion

Fox Restaurant Concepts has named Christine Barone to the new position of CEO of its True Food Kitchen casual-dining brand, the company said Tuesday.

The Phoenix, Ariz.-based multi-concept concept said Barone, who most recently served as Starbucks’ senior vice president of food, evenings and licensed stores, would oversee the 13-unit True Food Kitchen’s transition to a stand-alone company under private-equity company Centerbridge Partners L.P.’s majority ownership.

“Christine’s knowledge and experience in the food industry is exactly what we’ve been looking for to take True Food Kitchen to the next level,” said Sam Fox, founder of Fox Restaurant Concepts, in a statement. “Her passion for building and leading teams, along with her proven track record of operating complex businesses, will be instrumental in the transition of True Food Kitchen.”

The company said Barone would lead True Food Kitchen’s growth strategy. The brand this year has opened new restaurants in Austin, Texas and Pasadena, Calif. Later this fall, openings are scheduled for Palo Alto, Calif., Walnut Creek, Calif., and Chicago.

True Food openings planned for 2017 include: Bethesda, Md.; Boca Raton, Fla., King of Prussia, Pa., Naples, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; Plano, Texas; and San Diego, Calif.

“I’m a big fan of True Food Kitchen’s unique approach to thoughtfully crafted, nutrition-focused food and look forward to bringing this concept to more people in new cities across the U.S.,” Barone said in the company statement.

During her time at Starbucks, Barone led the rollout and launch of La Boulange bakery offerings to more than 12,000 Starbucks stores in the United States and Canada. Prior to Starbucks, she was a management consultant with Bain & Co.

Fox Restaurant Concepts has 16 concepts with 47 restaurants spanning eight states. Besides True Food Kitchen, its brands include: The Arrogant Butcher, Blanco Tacos + Tequila, Culinary Dropout, Flower Child, The Greene House, The Henry, Juby True, Little Cleo’s Seafood Legend, North Italia, Olive & Ivy Restaurant & Marketplace, The Rocket, The Showcase Room, Wildflower American Cuisine, and Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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