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Newks_Names-First-COO.jpg Ron Ruggless
Newk's Eater names Joe Pate as its first chief operations officer.

Newk’s Eatery names Joe Pate COO

Industry veteran joins fast-casual brand’s operations from La Madeleine

Newk's Eatery has named Joe Pate to the new position of chief operations officer, the fast-casual brand said Monday.

Newk's-COO-Joe-Pate-Feb2020.jpgThe Jackson, Miss.-based Newk’s said Pate, who most recently served as a vice president of operations at Dallas-based La Madeleine French Bakery & Café, will oversee Newk’s company and franchise operations as well as catering and operations services.

“I am confident that Joe will be instrumental to the growth and continued success of Newk's restaurant operations with his exceptional track record and deep-rooted knowledge in restaurant leadership,” said Chris Newcomb, CEO of Newk's Eatery, in a statement.

“Joe has proven to excel in building and growing cross-functional teams with both corporate and franchise operations, combining strategic, results-driven programs, while also cultivating his passion for great food,” Newcomb said.

Pate began his foodservice career at a hometown restaurant in Alvin, Texas, before joining the U.S. Coast Guard and its culinary academy. He later ran a private restaurant and catering company and served as a franchise district manager with Cicis Pizza.

“My focus is to use my experience and passion for the food and restaurant industry to propel the growth of our people and our restaurants, setting the bar high in growth and operational excellence,” Pate said.

Newk's Eatery, founded in 2004, owns and franchises more than 120 restaurants in 16 states. The company unveiled a brand refresh at a remodeled unit in Jackson last fall.

Correction Feb. 11, 2020: This story has been edited to correct the year of Newk's founding.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

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