Orlando, FL (RestaurantNews.com) Robin Muller, who has led restaurant operations for three decades with several leading multi-unit brands, has joined Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill as Senior Vice President of Operations, the company announced. Tom Porfiris, previously Director of Operations for the casual dining chain, has been promoted to Senior Director of Operations, reporting directly to Muller.
Muller, 53, will be responsible for leading and directing all Smokey Bones operations. Porfiris, a recent recipient of the company’s Director of the Year award, will lead a group of Directors of Operations in addition to overseeing a region of General Managers. He will work closely with Muller on all operational initiatives.
“Robin is the right leader to help us accelerate our journey to become “Best in Class” when it comes to delivering great guest experiences,” said Chris Artinian, President & CEO of Smokey Bones. “She understands that great execution begins with a strong culture and accountability. We’re excited to add her talents to our very strong team as we begin to ramp up new restaurant growth.”
Muller most recently held senior operations posts at California Pizza Kitchen and Macaroni Grill – both owned by parent Golden Gate Capital. She oversaw 60 CPK restaurants and seven Area Directors as Regional Vice President, and before that, 78 Macaroni Grill restaurants and nine operations leaders as a Regional Director.
A former college basketball player at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, Muller began her restaurant career at Pizza Hut, where she was promoted to General Manager within her first year and was soon promoted to Area Manager. She rose to become Regional Director during her 15 years with the company, and oversaw the Southwestern U.S. Paving a similar pathway at Macaroni Grill, Muller rose from Managing Partner to Regional Director over a 15-year period. In 2012, Golden Gate Capital, having recently purchased CPK, named Muller Regional Vice President of the Eastern Division to provide much needed operational support and leadership. With a reputation as a performance-driven leader, she has achieved excellent performance improvements in every role she has held.
Porfiris joined Smokey Bones as Director of Operations three years ago from Lone Star Steakhouse, where he served as a District Manager. With more than 20 years of operations leadership experience at brands including Sticky Fingers, Red Robin and Chili’s, the University of Nevada Las Vegas graduate is known as a passionate leader committed to developing his teams.
“Tom is a leader committed to fueling exceptional service experiences and helping people achieve their goals,” said Artinian. “His promotion is a perfect example of the tremendous opportunity Smokey Bones provides for dedicated individuals to grow and advance their careers.”
Smokey Bones, the favorite choice for food, drinks, and fun, is a full-service bar and fire-grill restaurant that operates 65 locations in 17 states and employs nearly 4,000 people. It is owned by an affiliate of Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sun Capital Partners, whose portfolio of restaurants also includes Boston Market, Friendly’s, Sweet Tomatoes, Fazoli’s, Bar Louie, and other restaurant brands representing approximately 2,000 locations and over $2.0 billion in sales. For more information on Smokey Bones, visit www.SmokeyBones.com.
Rick Van Warner
Parquet Public Affairs