News Briefs


Del Taco Open Drive-Thru Only Location


Del Taco debuted its new  Fresh Flex  Drive-Thru Only location in Albuquerque, N.M.  The location’s small footprint spans just 1,200 square feet.

“Our Fresh Flex design offers a modern, sleek look that is aligned with our Del Taco ® Better Mex  brand promise – better quality, better value,” said Tim Linderman, Chief Development Officer. “This design allows us to reduce the overall footprint of the building which creates more real estate flexibility and the potential to reduce total buildout costs which will allow us to further accelerate the growth of our brand.”

In addition to the drive-thru lane, the new design features a walk-up window for ordering and pick-up. Also, to increase drive-thru efficiency, it provides pick-up lockers for orders placed via the Del Taco mobile app and third-party delivery service providers, allowing guests and delivery drivers to skip the line.

The Del Taco Fresh Flex store designs feature a “Menu of Venues” ranging from the drive-thru-only model to free standing, end cap and conversion locations, giving Del Taco franchisees maximum flexibility and options.


Peter Piper Pizza's New CMO

Peter Piper Pizza CMO Genaro Perez

Peter Piper Pizza named seasoned restaurant industry executive Genaro Perez as the brand's chief marketing officer, effective immediately.

Perez most recently served as senior vice president of marketing at P.F Chang's. Prior to that, he was vice president of marketing for Peter Piper Pizza.

As CMO, Perez is charged with all marketing strategy, planning and execution for Peter Piper Pizza, Peter Piper Express and Peter Piper Pizzeria, developing marketing campaigns and content strategies across all channels, including online, digital and social, as well as public relations. Perez will work alongside senior leadership to further develop Peter Piper Pizza's overall brand presence within the marketplace and support the brand's continued expansion.


Brandon Coleman III Promoted to CEO of TGI Fridays

TGI Fridays

TGI Fridays said that Brandon Coleman III has been named Chief Executive Officer after an extensive search among internal and external candidates.

Coleman joined the company in October 2022 where he led the domestic corporate and franchise stores as well as the TGI Fridays brand as US President and Chief Marketing Officer. Previously, Coleman had a highly successful career in the restaurant industry, serving as Senior Vice President and CMO of Dave & Busters, various leadership roles at Del Frisco's Restaurant Group, and as Chief Marketing Officer of Romano's Macaroni Grill as well as serving as CEO and Management Consultant for Brava Partners, a consulting group focused on branding and business strategy. In 2013, he was named one of Ad Age's 40 Under 40.

Coleman will lead TGI Fridays into a transformative next phase revitalizing the brand to position it as a growing market leader in the rapidly evolving food and hospitality industry. This entails accelerating the company's evolution as an experiential hospitality and entertainment destination by offering bold new offerings across key dayparts as well as an expansion of restaurant locations, domestically and internationally.

Leaning Into Creative Offerings

TGI Fridays and  Coleman launched, in restaurant and off premise, Krispy Rice, a sushi offering, developed in partnership with food technology company C3.He also recently led the brand through its biggest menu change since the 1990's with the launch of its Grilled & Sauced platform.

Most recently, under his  leadership, TGI Fridays expanded its presence at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport with a location that is on track to have an annual revenue of $14MM.
TGI Fridays operates and franchises over 650 restaurants across 52 countries. 


Regina Cheung Named CEO of Pokeworks

Pokeworks Cheung CEO

Regina Cheung has been promoted from Chief Financial Officer to the role of Chief Executive Officer at Pokeworks. She will pulling double duty as she retains the title of CFO as well. 

During her tenure as CFO, Cheung successfully created a data-driven culture focused on achieving the brand’s KPIs, built strong relationships with franchisees and modernized the company’s systems and infrastructure. In her new role as CEO, she is turning her focus to increasing franchise profitability, introducing the brand to new markets and leveraging the knowledge and talents of Pokeworks' team and board members, including the original founders and Toridoll Holdings, to build a sustainable and scalable franchise business.

“I like to think of myself as a servant-leader to the team and our franchise owners,” Cheung said. “I want the whole team to feel a positive energy when they come to work and I think that is important for upholding Pokeworks’ core values and culture, which will ultimately lead to accelerated growth and innovation ... I’m also passionate about our entrepreneurial spirit; we are professional, but we’re also scrappy and growing every day.”

The brand has more than 60 locations across 20 states. The company will expand outside of the U.S. – with new locations opening in the Toronto area before the end of the year. 



Choice Hotels International Announces Executive Appointments and Organizational Structure Evolution

Choice Hotels Logo

Choice Hotels International, Inc. announced key executive appointments that position the company for continued future growth following its acquisition of Radisson Hotels Americas and the successful integration of its nine brands onto Choice's world-class central reservation system.

"Choice has always been a growth company, and that growth is now accelerating," said Choice Hotels International President and CEO Patrick Pacious. "We are a stronger company than we were just a year ago. Choice's increased scope and the breadth of our portfolio give us new avenues for growth and an opportunity to expand and improve the services we provide to our franchisees, our guests, and our travel partners."

Choice has a robust portfolio of brands that range from full-service upper upscale to midscale, extended stay, and economy. As part of an evolution to a more flexible and agile organizational structure, Dominic Dragisich, who joined the company as Chief Financial Officer in 2017, will be promoted to Executive Vice President, Operations and Chief Global Brand Officer. Mr. Dragisich will oversee all of Choice's brand segments, brand development, segment services, and corporate development. During his tenure as CFO, Mr. Dragisich successfully enhanced and streamlined the company's budgeting, forecasting and capital allocation processes and led several major initiatives to support the company's continued growth. Recently, he was instrumental in the acquisition of the Radisson Americas business and will continue to lead corporate development efforts. "Dominic is a talented leader who excelled as CFO and has a deep understanding of the operational drivers of our business," said Mr. Pacious. "I'm confident he will help drive our growth and performance to the next level in this important new role."

Scott Oaksmith will be promoted from Senior Vice President and Deputy Chief Financial Officer to Chief Financial Officer. In this role, he will lead Choice's overall financial strategy and corporate growth initiatives to drive ongoing expansion across major markets and maximize shareholder value. A more than 20-year veteran with Choice, Mr. Oaksmith has worked closely with key stakeholders to identify opportunities to grow the company's core business and adjacent lines of business, streamlined financial operations, enhanced capital allocation strategies, and utilized advanced analytics to drive strategic and operating decisions in support of the company's goals. "Scott has been an integral part of Choice's success for over two decades," said Mr. Pacious. "He is the ideal person to lead our financial strategy during this crucial time for the company and well into the future."

Raul Ramirez will be promoted from Chief Strategy and International Operations Officer to Chief Segment and International Operations Officer with responsibility for Choice's upscale, extended stay and core midscale and economy brands as well as the International Division. Since he joined Choice in 2017, Mr. Ramirez has led the integration of the Radisson Americas brands and WoodSpring Suites, launched an enterprise strategic planning process to help define and support long-term business and financial goals, and spearheaded the transformation and expansion of the company's International Division. "Raul is a transformational leader who has his finger on the pulse of our franchisees," said Mr. Pacious. "I can't think of a better, more qualified individual for this role as we work to grow our brands and expand our international footprint."

Anna Scozzafava will be promoted from Senior Vice President and General Manager, Extended Stay Brands to Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President, Technology, overseeing Choice's corporate strategy, business analytics and technology functions. Ms. Scozzafava has been with the company since 2012 and, most recently, drove the growth and expansion of Choice's extended stay portfolio, helping to establish the company as a clear leader in the fast-growing, high-performing segment. She will continue to lead the segment through a transition period. "Anna's leadership is a big part of the reason Choice is a leader in extended stay," said Mr. Pacious. "I'm excited to now have her lead the development of strategies to propel the entire company forward."


Allseated Raises $20 Million to Further Fuel its Rapid Growth

allseated logo

Allseated has announced $20 million funding – including capital from Level Structured Capital (an affiliate of Level Equity), and existing investors, Magma Ventures, Vestech Partners, NYFF, and WGG, to further scale its space visualization and collaboration platform.

The new funding will enable the fast-scaling business to propel its global expansion and continue to pioneer the international hospitality and event industries with innovative resources and product development. 

Alongside the funding, Allseated is spinning out its Metaverse division.  This includes a brand-new entity with a dedicated mission: to pioneer immersive experiences, such as virtual events and corporate environments, within an emerging market landscape.

Space, time, and flow

The global event industries have been completely transformed by the pandemic and the rise of remote communication and working with prospects, clients and partners. This includes the strategies employed by venues for selling and promoting their spaces.  While “static” digital twins are a de facto standard in real estate, their use in hospitality and events require significantly more value to support the needs of venues and event planners.  Allseated’s virtual space and event planning technology is built upon real-time data analysis, predictive insights, and advanced simulations.  Users can eliminate guesswork and usher in a new era of precision, innovation, accessibility, design, analysis, and collaboration with multiple stakeholders, all in one platform.

Allseated pioneered the transformation of digital spaces into collaborative working environments, providing real-time capabilities to bring a first-of-its-kind solution to the hospitality industry. Allseated provides an immersive virtual space that extends beyond the boundaries of its three-dimensional coordinates, creating an experience that encapsulates space, time, and dynamic flows to immerse users and customers in a rich 3D experience.

"Allseated has always been about bringing cutting-edge innovation to the hospitality market, enabling our customers to be more effective and close a lot more business, faster.  The new funding will help us to continue expanding our product line from floor planning to a full collaborative space visualization platform. It will enable us to continue to grow rapidly and partner with some of the best brands in hospitality, supercharging and differentiating their business." Yaron Lipshitz, Allseated CEO, said.

San Francisco based Nfluence Partners served as financial advisor and Fenwick and West as Legal counsel.