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Redstone names Ryback president, adds to board

WAYZATA Minn. Redstone American Grill said this week it has added the responsibilities of president to the chain’s chief operating officer, as well as named a new board member, helping to ready the five-unit upscale casual-dining chain for growth.

Last month, Redstone’s co-chief executive, Allan Hickok, spoke to Nation’s Restaurant News about the chain’s past and future.

In a statement late Thursday, the company added that it has promoted Larry Ryback to president, adding to his responsibilities as chief operating officer. The company also said that chairman and chief executive of Lakes Entertainment Inc., and former chief executive of Rainforest Café, Lyle Berman, has joined Redstone’s board of directors.

“The combination of strong financials, an experienced leadership team, healthy operational oversight and opportunities to capitalize on retail and restaurant real estate vacancy rates for future new construction and conversion opportunities are all working in Redstone’s favor,” the company said in a statement.

As Hickok told Nation’s Restaurant News, the chain expects to open one or two locations by the end of next year.

“Redstone restaurants generate high-traffic volume from consumers with a highly desirable demographic profile,” Hickok said in Thursday’s statement. “The strength of our business in a difficult environment presents us with attractive growth opportunities by capitalizing on now favorable site selection choices due to the contraction of retail chain expansion.”

The Wayzata-based company said it also has booked a 5-percentage-point increase in restaurant-level profitability during the past two quarters, driven by menu changes, and more effective purchasing and labor management.

Contact Sarah Lockyer at [email protected].

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