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Frisch’s Big Boy names James Walker CEO

The former Nathan’s Famous executive said he’s excited to join another legacy brand

James Walker has been named CEO of Frisch’s Big Boy, the family dining chain based in Cincinnati said Friday.

Most recently CEO of grocery delivery startup Buyk, before that Walker was senior vice president for restaurants at Nathan’s Famous, where among other things he oversaw the development of its “Flavor of N.Y.” line of sandwiches. He also has held executive positions with Baja Fresh, Cinnabon and Subway.

Walker said he was proud to join a restaurant company with such a storied history.

“Fewer and fewer restaurant brands today have the kind of legacy that Frisch’s Big Boy has,” he said in a release announcing his appointment. “The people of Cincinnati and surrounding areas have an emotional connection with this brand. As the brand celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, I couldn’t be more excited about joining an incredible team that understands that connection. My role is to guide us in leveraging our brand equity.”

He replaces Tony Vasconcellos, who was the company’s president and CFO until May of 2022. Jason Vaughn, who was the chain’s most recent CEO, left Frisch’s in May of 2021 to be CEO of Tucson, Ariz.-based sandwich chain Eegee’s.

Walker has an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in Durham, N.C.

There are around 100 company-owned and franchised Frisch’s Big Boy locations in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana specializing in the chain’s signature double-decker Big Boy burger, all-day breakfast and hot fudge ice cream cake.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

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