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Smokey Bones on new path with new CEO

James O’Reilly plans to build best-in-class chain

Smokey Bones Bar and Fire Grill is on a path to improving operations, investing in new technology and expanding the chain. At least, those are the plans for the 61-unit chain, according to James O’Reilly, the new Smokey Bones CEO. As Sun Capital partners looks to grow the chain, it picked O’Reilly based on his deep experience in leadership and building brand value.

As new Smokey Bones CEO, O’Reilly has set his sights on the culture and menu. The competitive job market in South Florida will see the chain rise to be a best-in-class employer, if he succeeds. According to a Smokey Bones statement, that’s exactly what he did at Long John Silver’s. His work there led to the chain being named a “Best Place to Work” in Kentucky by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

New Smokey Bones CEO James O'Reilly plans new initiatives to improve operations and culture and grow the chain. Photo by Smokey Bones.
New Smokey Bones CEO James O’Reilly plans new initiatives to improve operations and culture and grow the chain. Photo by Smokey Bones.

While serving as chief brand officer at Sonic, he helped growth the QSR’s sales to $4B. His career also includes work at PepsiCo and Yum Brands divisions. “Smokey Bones is an excellent brand with a proud history and strong restaurant teams,” said the new Smokey Bones CEO. “Together we will build one of the leading casual dining brands in the USA.”

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Full-service Smokey Bones Bar and Fire Grill operates in 16 states. Smokey Bones serves all dayparts and features a bar with a wide selection of bourbons and whiskeys and more than 40 beers.

The chain specializes in fire-roasted and grilled items, including burgers, wings and barbecue favorites.

Photo credit: Smokey Bones

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