SPB Hospitality Names Josh Kern as Interim CEO

Josh Kern
Josh Kern

Leading operator of full-service dining restaurants announces leadership changes to build on momentum; Kern appoints Jessica Hagler to CFO role

SPB Hospitality Names Josh Kern as Interim CEOHouston, TX  (RestaurantNews.comSPB Hospitality, the industry-leading operator and franchisor of steakhouses, pizza and craft brewery restaurants, today announced the appointment of Josh Kern as interim Chief Executive Officer.

Kern subsequently announced the appointment of SPB veteran Jessica Hagler as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer.

Kern most recently served as President of Concepts at SPB Hospitality, overseeing marketing, culinary, beverage, supply chain, and information technology. He previously held leadership positions with several successful restaurant groups including Quiznos, American Blue-Ribbon Holdings, Smashburger, and Cerca Trova Restaurant Concepts. Kern began his restaurant career working on White Castle with J. Walter Thompson advertising agency.

“I’m honored to take the reins at such an exciting time for SPB Hospitality as we work together to build on our momentum,” Kern said. “In my 25 years in the restaurant industry, I’ve been fortunate to be part of many great brands, and I see that same greatness in the SPB Hospitality portfolio. I’m inspired by being on-site at our locations and talking with the people who create outstanding dining experiences for our guests each day. There is extraordinary potential in this collection of brands, and I’m proud to be a part of this exceptional team.”

Hagler has served as interim Chief Financial Officer of SPB Hospitality since April 2022. She was previously Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer & Secretary of J. Alexander’s (“JAX”) until its acquisition by SPB Hospitality in September 2021. Hagler had held various roles at JAX including Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer, Director of Financial Reporting and Director of Compliance. Prior to joining J. Alexander’s, Hagler was a Senior Manager in the audit practice at KPMG, LLP.

“Josh has played in integral role in the growth and success of SPB Hospitality, so he was the obvious choice to serve in this new leadership role,” said Morgan McClure, President of SPB Hospitality and Managing Director at Fortress Investment Group. “We have enormous confidence in both Josh and Jessica to lead these brands and build on the vision for our collection of restaurant brands and their thousands of team members across the country.”

To learn more about SPB Hospitality’s brands and locations, visit www.spbhospitality.com.

About SPB Hospitality

SPB Hospitality is a leading operator and franchisor of full-service dining restaurants, spanning a national footprint of hundreds of restaurants and breweries in 39 states and the District of Columbia. The Company’s diverse portfolio of restaurant brands includes Logan’s Roadhouse, Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, and a collection of restaurant-brewery brands, including Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant. SPB Hospitality also operates a collection of specialty restaurant concepts including ChopHouse & Brewery, Big River Grille & Brewing Works, AIA Ale Works Restaurant & Taproom, Ragtime Tavern Seafood & Grill, J. Alexander’s Restaurant, Merus Grill, Redlands Grill, Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill, and Seven Bridges Grille & Brewery. In addition, the brand created and operates several virtual brands including Twisted Tenders, Ember Smoked, Leo’s Italian Kitchen, Roadies, and Logan’s on the Road.

About Fortress

Fortress Investment Group LLC is a leading, highly diversified global investment manager with approximately $44.4 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2022. Founded in 1998, Fortress manages assets on behalf of over 1,900 institutional clients and private investors worldwide across a range of credit and real estate, private equity and permanent capital investment strategies.

Jami Sharp