The new owner of Eggs Up Grill, a Southern chain of breakfast-and-lunch restaurants, has named industry veteran Ricky Richardson as CEO, the company announced this week.
WJ Partners, the Spartanburg, S.C.-based private-equity firm that bought the brand in March, said Richardson, who most recently served as U.S. president and chief operating officer of Dallas-based TGI Fridays, would oversee the company’s expansion.
“Having a leader of Ricky’s caliber and experience will allow us to take the brand to the next level,” said Jaime Wall, managing partner of WJ Partners, in a statement. “His particular expertise in helping founder-led, franchised restaurants realize their next stage of growth will be of tremendous value as we leverage the increasing popularity of breakfast-based concepts and attract new franchise partners to our family.”
Skip Corn, president of Spartanburg-based Eggs Up, and Chris Skodras, the concept’s founder, will remain with the 26-unit brand to provide guidance and support for the brand and its franchisees, the company said.
Richardson’s background includes more than 20 years with TGI Fridays. He also headed operations when Fridays’ then-parent Carlson Restaurant Group Worldwide acquired the California-based Pick Up Stix. Prior to his time at Carlson, Richardson worked in operations for the Florida franchisee of the Black-Eyed Pea restaurant brand.
“Eggs Up Grill is built on a foundation of not just great food, but also a fantastic, values-driven service culture that really connects with the communities we serve,” Richardson said. “And, as a breakfast-and-lunch concept, our restaurants’ hours enable our franchise partners to enjoy more family and community time, which really resonates with the owner/operators we’re targeting.”
Eggs Up Grill, founded in 1986 in Pawleys Island, S.C., has restaurants in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Eggs Up Grill began franchising in 2004.
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