LUNA GRILL NAMES FIRST-EVER CHIEF BRAND OFFICER, NEW CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Fast Casual Segment Leader Brings in Executives to Refine, Scale Brand
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – (October 10, 2019) – Leading fast casual Mediterranean concept Luna Grill (www.LunaGrill.com) has appointed two industry veterans, Rich Pinnella as the company’s first ever Chief Brand Officer (CBO) and Bob Bartlett, Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Both executives have been brought on-board to scale up the brand and accelerate growth.
Before making the move to Luna Grill, Pinnella was an executive with Taco Bell for 20 years, serving the last seven as a Vice President and General Manager. During that tenure, he directed U.S. based and International functional heads to deliver results across marketing, beverage, culinary, operations, and supply chain, through an aggressive international expansion to over 500 restaurants.
In his new role as CBO at Luna Grill, Pinnella will use his broad experience to help grow, refine and scale the Luna Grill brand. “I am energized to work with the teams, making the brand more accessible, contemporary and telling the story about our ingredient quality and scratch kitchens. People love our food, but don’t realize all the quality that goes into our clean ingredients and daily preparation,” Pinnella said.
Through multiple food, beverage, day-part launches and international development, he significantly contributed to Taco Bell’s growth from a $4 billion to more than $10.5 billion organization.
“Rich’s breadth of expertise in brand development and business model evolution is an incredible asset for us as we look to scale up in California and beyond,” said Luna Grill CEO Sean Pourteymour. “Additionally, his collaborative leadership style is a perfect fit for our culture,” he added.
Rich Pinnella – Chief Brand Officer
Joining Pinnella in the C-Suite is Chief Financial Officer Bob Bartlett. Before making the move to Luna Grill Bob held senior finance positions at CKE Restaurants (parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s) and Taco Bell. Bob has more recently served as the CFO at BLD Brands and Vice President of Finance at Real Mex Restaurants. Bob holds an undergraduate degree in business and an MBA from the University of Southern California.
As CFO at Luna Grill, he will oversee a variety of Restaurant Support Center functions including finance, accounting, human resources and risk management, seeking ways to streamline processes and focus on bringing best practices to the organization.
“I am eager to work with such a fantastic group of restaurant professionals to support operations and build a best in class finance and accounting function. Luna has grown rapidly from 20 to 50 locations in just a few years and our support teams are prepared for continued growth and to help drive profitability,” Bartlett said.
“We plan to expand in existing markets as well as identifying potential new markets and Bob’s team will be key to bringing prudent acceleration and growth as we go,” added Pourteymour.
Luna Grill is a pioneer in the fast-casual segment, providing fresh Mediterranean food such as signature kabob plates, gourmet salads, appetizers including hummus and falafel, wraps, desserts, craft beer and wine in a contemporary setting. The concept has now grown to 50 locations in Southern California and the Dallas Fort Worth area.
Bob Bartlett – Chief Financial Officer
About Luna Grill:
Founded in 2004, Luna Grill is a nationally recognized mark of excellence for foodservice establishments committed to nutrition and sustainability. Ranked number 30 in Restaurant Business’ “The Future 50” fastest-growing small chains in the United States and named “Number 5 Fast Casual Concept” at Fast Casual’s 2017 Movers and Shakers Awards, Luna Grill is pioneering the food industry with its commitment to wholesome food and environmentally friendly initiatives. Serving Mediterranean cuisine made with many non-GMO items, all foods, marinades and sauces are crafted with care daily from kabobs, falafel, salads and hummus, to wraps, desserts and wine in a fast-casual setting. Luna Grill’s sustainability efforts include limiting single-use plastic products, reusable glassware for in restaurant dining and offering paper straws and to-go items packaged in paper and re-used plastic containers whenever possible for guests. Learn more and view the menu at www.LunaGrill.com. Follow on social at @lunagrill.