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CraftWorks names first chief experience officer

Josh Kern joins casual-dining company from Outback franchise group

CraftWorks Holdings, parent to the Logan’s Roadhouse Inc. and Rock Bottom Restaurants Inc., has named Josh Kern as its first chief experience officer, the company said Monday.

Denver, Colo.-based CraftWorks said Kern will be responsible for the multi-concept operator’s strategy, marketing, brewery, culinary and digital efforts.

Kern most recently served as chief marketing officer for San Diego, Calif.-based Cerca Trova Restaurant Concepts, an Outback Steakhouse franchisee. He will report to Hazem Ouf, CraftWorks’ CEO and chairman.

CraftWorks in early November acquired Logan’s Roadhouse, expanding its portfolio, which also includes Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group Inc., to 390 restaurants.

“Josh is a seasoned executive who creatively transforms information and data into breakthrough ideas that will strengthen growth across CraftWorks’ network of casual-dining and brewery concepts,” Ouf said in a statement.

Before joining Cerca Trova, Kern (left) served as chief marketing officer at Nashville, Tenn.-based American Blue Ribbon Holdings and Denver-based Consumer Capital Partners, and as vice president of marketing for Quiznos.

“I have admired the collection of CraftWorks brands both as a consumer and a marketer over the years," Kern said. "I'm excited to join CraftWorks Holdings during this pivotal time and to work with the leadership team to help reignite the brands and increase relevance with consumers."

CraftWorks has restaurants and breweries in 40 states and the District of Columbia.

Other of its brands include Chicago Pizza & Taproom and such specialty restaurant concepts as AIA Ale Works, Big River Grill, Big River Grill, BlueWater Grille, Ragtime Tavern & Seafood Grill, Seven Bridges Grill & Brewery and Sing-Sing, a dueling pianos concept.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless


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