Lemonade Lemonade

Lemonade Restaurant Group names new COO, CFO

Fast-casual chain prepares for next stage of growth

The fast-casual Lemonade Restaurant Group has named two new top executives to help prepare the chain for growth.

Ame Hull, former regional vice president of operations and vice president of operations services for Pei Wei Asian Diner, has been named chief operations officer for Lemonade. Hull replaces former COO Charles Johnson.

Before working with Pei Wei, Hull spent two decades with BJ’s Restaurants Inc., closing out her tenure there as senior vice president of operation services and talent development.

At Lemonade, Hull will be responsible for overseeing operations and training for both the front- and back-of-the-house.

In addition, Michael Nishi, who was previously chief financial officer of Wetzel’s Pretzels, has been appointed CFO at Lemonade. Nishi replaces former CFO Huntley Castner.

Nishi has also held the CFO title at Innovative Dining Group and Slater’s 50/50, both based in Southern California, and at Wetzel’s Pretzels he played a roll in that chain’s sale to private-equity firm CenterOak Partners in 2016. 

At Lemonade, Nishi is charged with overseeing the purchasing and finance division, and working closely with President and CEO Larry Kurzweil on developing a financial model for the next generation of growth.

“We’re very fortunate to attract such seasoned and driven individuals to the Lemonade team,” said Kurzweil in a statement. “Hull’s passion for restaurant operations and commitment to talent development, combined with Nishi’s financial acumen and expertise in developing restaurant brands will undoubtedly be instrumental as we position our brand for the next level of growth.” 

Based in Los Angeles, Lemonade was founded in 2008 by chef Alan Jackson. A contemporary take on the cafeteria model with a healthful seasonal menu, the chain has 28 locations throughout California. 

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

Correction: September 15, 2017
This story has been updated to include new information about the executive changes.
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