MOD Pizza has named former Friendly’s and Johnny Rockets president and CEO John Maguire as its new chief operating officer, effective October 22.
Maguire, who had been head of Friendly’s for six years and Johnny Rockets for two years, stepped down from both positions in September, saying he was accepting “another opportunity.”
Both Friendly’s parent, FIC Restaurants Inc., and Johnny Rockets are owned by private-equity group Sun Capital Partners Inc. Before joining Sun, Maguire spent more than 20 years at Panera Bread.
Maguire will lead operations at MOD’s more than 380 locations “with a strong focus on all phases of expansion and growth,” MOD said in a press release announcing his appointment, adding that he will report to Paul Twohig, the company’s president, who also held the role of COO.
Twohig will continue to oversee restaurant development, including real estate, design and construction, as well as culinary, supply chain and international and franchise operations.
Seattle-based MOD’s restaurants are about 80 percent company-owned.
“As a leader at Panera during their formative years of growth combined with his experience leading two loved brands, John brings the perfect mix of deep operating expertise combined with experience sustaining the culture required to build an iconic brand,” MOD CEO Scott Svenson said in a statement.
“Most importantly, though, John lives the values and beliefs at the heart of MOD,” the statement said. “The thing which most attracted him was our commitment to using our business as a platform to make a positive impact on our people and the communities we serve. We could not be more thrilled to welcome him, and are confident that his track record of leading operations across large, multi-unit brands will allow us to further strengthen the MOD experience.”
Maguire said he was “excited to join MOD at such a pivotal time in the company’s history and to be a part of a team that is committed to developing a best-in-class brand by staying true to its purpose-led culture that is truly unique in the fast-casual dining industry. I couldn’t be more thrilled to work alongside MOD’s talented team to help magnify the company’s purpose and help expand on their incredible success over the past several years.”
MOD Pizza has been growing rapidly, entering the ranks of the 200 largest chains in the country in 2017, according to NRN’s Top 200 data. Its $270 million in sales, an increase of 80 percent compared to the previous year, ranked it as the 141st largest chain in the country.
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