Cosi bolsters leadership team

by Eric Schroeder
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DEERFIELD, ILL. — John Mallon has been hired by Cosi, Inc. to serve as the fast casual restaurant company’s vice-president of operations. Mr. Mallon will oversee operations at Cosi’s 75 company-owned locations.

Most recently, he successfully developed and operated a six-unit frozen yogurt concept in the Minneapolis market.

Mr. Mallon has more than 30 years of restaurant industry experience, including 20 years at Applebee’s where he was regional vice-president of company operations and was responsible for the oversight of more than 200 restaurants. Earlier in his tenure at Applebee’s he worked on the franchise operations side of the business.  Prior to Applebee’s, Mr. Mallon spent several years in restaurant operations at Bennigan’s.

In addition to Mr. Mallon’s appointment, Cosi named two new regional directors and hired several district managers.

David Parker has been named a regional director with responsibility for several company markets in the Midwest. Mr. Parker comes to Cosi with more than 15 years of experience, most recently as an area director for Applebee’s.

Giovanni Jara was promoted to the position of regional director with responsibility for company markets in the Northeast. Mr. Jara has been with Cosi for more than 13 years, most recently as a district manager in the New York market.

Douglas Converse has been named as district manager to the Mid-Atlantic region. He has more than 25 years of restaurant experience at various concepts, including regional vice-president for Au Bon Pain Bakery Cafe on the East coast.

Gina Wright has been named district manager in the company’s suburban Philadelphia market. Ms. Wright has more than 15 years of restaurant experience much of which was with Cozymels Restaurants where she rose to the position of c.o.o. in 2007.

Nathan Owens was hired as district manager in the Northeast. Mr. Owens has more than 10 years of experience with various concepts, most recently as director of operations at Kahala Brands, which operates several concepts, including Cold Stone Creamery.

“We believe that with the addition of John Mallon and the five other seasoned and talented restaurant executives, we have significantly bolstered the leadership of Cosi’s field operating team and better positioned ourselves to achieve our goal of turning this strong brand into a great business,” said Carin Stutz, president and chief executive officer of Cosi. “Further, we strongly believe that by adding this new team of professionals, we are demonstrating our ongoing commitment to improving and growing Cosi for the benefit of our shareholders, franchise partners, employees and guests.”
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