ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FoodFirst Global Restaurants, Inc., a newly formed restaurant company whose mission is to provide Good Food for the Planet TM, has established its headquarters in downtown Orlando, Florida. The company is building a platform to own a variety of brands and businesses in the restaurant and food industry. Its first two brands are BRIO Tuscan Grille, which is being repositioned in the polished, upscale segment of casual dining as BRIO Italian Mediterranean and BRAVO Cucina Italiana, which will be renamed BRAVO Fresh Italian as a core casual dining brand.
“This is a dream come true for me, said Founder, Owner-Partner, Chairman & CEO Brad Blum. “It is important to have The Right Purpose, to have The Right Leaders and to have The Right Owners. We have all three. Everyone is aligned around the same values, vision and strategy. And now, we have chosen an exciting high-quality environment in which to build our strong and dynamic company.”
As for The Right Purpose, each brand and business that makes up part of FoodFirst Global Restaurants, Inc. will be committed to the philosophy of Good Food for the Planet TM. It is something Blum developed with five principles, to provide restaurant food in this country, and around the world, that is:
1. Exceptionally GOOD tasting
2. Remarkably GOOD for you
3. You feel GOOD afterwards
4. A GOOD everyday value
5. GOOD for the environment
As for the Right Leaders, Orlando will be the primary base of operation for FoodFirst Global’s executive team including: Blum; Chief Culinary Officer, John Imbriolo; newly appointed President & Chief Operations Officer, Dave Pickens; Board Director, Strategic Partner, Chief Marketing & Technology Officer, John Wong; Chief Development Officer, Mike Ellis; Chief Financial Officer, Diane Reed and a number of other key leaders. FoodFirst Global Restaurants has uniquely structured its leadership team so that the Chief Culinary Officer reports directly to the CEO alongside the Chief Operations Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of Beverages & Global Distribution, a decision which the company believes will make it better able to craft the optimal guest experience and grow guest counts profitably.
As for the Right Owners, GP Investments, Ltd. is a leading alternative global investment firm with a strong track record and who is also working effectively with progressive restaurant companies. Having offices currently in Sao Paulo, London, New York and Bermuda, they are individual investors who are partnering closely with Blum, who is also a major investor, and his executive team, each taking a long-term view to build this business in a highly valuable way. Antonio Bonchristiano, who is the CEO of GP Investments, serves as the Vice Chairman of FoodFirst Global Restaurants, Inc. Danilo Gamboa and Felipe Ohanian also serve as FoodFirst board directors. Said Blum, “I am thrilled to be working with a global partner with the qualities of GP Investments and look forward to building something quite special together. They are great owners.”
The decision of where to locate the new headquarters is rooted in the accessibility of Orlando from an international travel and infrastructure standpoint and the quality of life in Central Florida, coupled with Blum’s personal ties to the Greater Orlando area. The area offers a thriving economy and a culture of innovation known to attract families and millennials alike. “As a long-time resident of Winter Park, FL, I have been an admirer of the way in which the greater Orlando area has grown,” said Blum. “Our new company headquarters will be an excellent environment as we work together to foster innovation. It is a diverse community and has a great deal of international tourism.”
The current support center based in Columbus, Ohio, the birthplace of both BRAVO and BRIO, will continue to play an important role in certain parts of support operations for FoodFirst Global Restaurants, Inc. Making up the current portfolio, 17% of the BRAVO and BRIO restaurants are located in Ohio and 16% are located in Florida. The company sees excellent growth potential for these two brands throughout the United States and eventually internationally.
For more information, please visit us at www.foodfirst.com.
About FoodFirst Global Restaurants, Inc.
FoodFirst Global Restaurants, Inc.™ is a collaboration between restaurateur/owner-partner Brad Blum and GP Investments, Ltd. At FoodFirst Global Restaurants, we are building a platform to own a variety of brands and businesses. The mission for each of these brands and businesses is to provide Good Food for the Planet. We are passionate about good food, know good food, enjoy good food, and are dedicated to always improving upon and consistently providing good food. For more information, visit www.foodfirst.com.