Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza names Wayne Jones CEO

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza names Wayne Jones CEO

Ex-P.F. Chang’s executive succeeds founder Anthony Bruno in role

Anthony’s Pizza Holding Co. LLC has hired industry veteran Wayne Jones as CEO to succeed founder Anthony Bruno in the role, the parent to the Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza brand said Wednesday.

Jones most recently served as president and chief operating officer of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc., a position he’d held for the past three years. Jones previously held senior roles at The Cheesecake Factory Inc. and BJ’s Restaurants Inc.

Bruno had served as CEO since founding Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based casual-dining Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in 2002.

A company spokesman said that, with Jones’ appointment as CEO, Bruno would take on an expanded role in customer experience and food quality.

“Wayne's experience in operations and brand growth will help to lead Anthony's toward its next level of growth,” the spokesman said.

Bruno noted that the brand is celebrating its 15th anniversary and just opened its first Chicago-area restaurant in Orland Park, Ill.

"Bringing Wayne's veteran leadership to our brand is a game changer,” Bruno said in a statement. “His expertise in delivering an outstanding guest experience and incredible food will enable us to continue pushing toward our next milestone: crossing the 100-unit mark."

The company currently has 60 restaurants in eight states. It features pizza, chicken wings, meatballs, salads and the signature Eggplant Marino, named for restaurant partner and National Football League Hall of Famer Dan Marino.

"When speaking with Anthony and the rest of the team,” Jones said in a statement, “you immediately sense the passion behind this brand, and it didn't take me long to realize the size of the opportunity for Anthony's to continue its expansion."

Greenwich, Conn.-based investment firm L Catterton took a majority stake in the Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza brand in 2015.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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