Naf Naf Grill's David Sloan and Sahar Sander have stepped down as co-CEOs of the nine-year-old Middle Eastern restaurant chain to make way for a seasoned leader who spent seven years at Moe's Southwest Grill, the company said in a statement.
Paul Damico, a former president of Moe's who most recently was North American president of Focus Brands, takes over the 29-unit, Chicago-based company, which is amid a national expansion.
Naf Naf, which took on Atlanta-based private-equity firm Roark Capital as a minority investor in 2015, has since more than doubled the number of its locations, expanding into Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It has said it plans to grow to 150 restaurants by 2020.
Sloan and Sander, who have led the chain since inception, will both remain with the company. Sloan will serve as an adviser to Damico; Sander will take a new position as chief culinary officer.
Damico, who has logged more than 30 years in food service, helped Atlanta-based Moe's expand from 300 sites to nearly 700 today in 41 states, according to the statement.
"Paul is a strong, experienced leader with a solid track record of growing high-performance restaurant brands," Gary Beisler, Naf Naf's chairman, a former CEO of burrito chain Qdoba, said in the statement. "His knowledge of franchising and restaurant operations will bode