Luna Grill has promoted Rich Pinnella to the role of president, the company said Wednesday.
Pinnella, a former Taco Bell executive, joined San Diego-based Luna Grill as chief brand officer in 2019. In his new role as the chain’s first president, Pinnella will take on day-to-day duties of CEO and cofounder Sean Pourteymour, who plans to shift focus on the fast-casual Mediterranean chain’s long-term expansion.
“Back in 2018, we assessed the company, examining the infrastructure, talent and brand positioning and began searching for the right people to enhance the executive team,” said Pourteymour in a statement. “We knew we had to prepare for the next phase of strategic growth and began talent acquisition to guide that growth.”
Along with hiring Pinnella, the company also brought on chief financial officer Bob Bartlett. The company said it has also created the new positions of culinary innovation vice president — filled by former Qdoba Mexican Eats executive Michelle Goncalves — and digital catering director, a position filled by Kevin Reading. Reading is tasked with focusing on online/mobile and takeout order execution.
“We know our food travels well and like to tell our customers to let us ‘replace your kitchen’ with fresh, delicious meals prepared with quality ingredients,” said Pinnella in a statement. “Recent dramatic changes to the dining landscape has given us the opportunity to push off-premise even further, through the COVID pandemic we have grown our delivery business over 150%, which was already a significant layer pre-COVID.”
Before joining Luna Grill, Pinnella spent 20 years at Taco Bell, most recently as a vice president and general manager.
Luna Grill operates 50 locations throughout Southern California and Texas.
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