Industry veteran Carl J. Bachmann has been named the CEO of BurgerFi International, Inc., owner of Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings and the fast-casual brand BurgerFi, according to a press release.

Bachmann, who will start with the company on July 10, is a career restaurant professional with extensive experience in both the burger and pizza spaces. He has served in various leadership roles and has an established record of growing brands and helping them remain competitive, the company said.

“Carl brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in the restaurant space that will be valuable for our enterprise. His successful leadership of restaurants combined with his innovative experiences, particularly within the burger and pizza spaces, give him a unique and deep understanding of our brands—particularly how to help drive us toward growth,” said Ophir Sternberg, executive chairman of BurgerFi and founder and CEO of Lionheart Capital.

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Anthony’s, which operates 60 corporate-owned casual restaurant locations, was acquired by BurgerFi International Inc. on November 3, 2021. Anthony’s is centered around a 900-degree coal fired oven with menu offerings including “well-done” pizza, coal-fired chicken wings, homemade meatballs, sandwiches and salads. Anthony’s was named “The Best Pizza Chain in America” by USA Today’s Great American Bites and a “Top 3 Best Major Pizza Chain” by Mashed in 2021.

this photo shows a person's hand holding up a slice of delicious-looking pizza topped with pepperoni and sausage

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza and Wings / Facebook

Prior to joining BurgerFi, Bachmann served as president for Smashburger, the Denver-based chain that specializes in custom burgers. In this role, he launched a five-point business plan designed to accelerate growth by retooling the entire organization, including rebuilding the leadership team; bringing back high-quality food products; redefining the real estate portfolio; launching new food safety, service and cleanliness and restaurant condition initiatives; and relaunching the brand with a new marketing team and direction.

Under his leadership, Smashburger experienced double-digit systemwide same-store sales growth along with double-digit expansion of both the corporate and franchise footprint, the press release states. During his leadership, Smashburger also migrated to a new e-commerce platform, resulting in a large increase in owned channel digital revenues and improved customer experience. Bachmann initially joined Smashburger in 2017 as chief operating officer before taking on the role of president.

Bachmann also served as senior vice president of operations for Bertucci’s, the Boston-based brick-oven Italian concept, which he joined in 2014. Under his guidance, the company experienced substantial EBITDA improvements and, in 2015, the company recognized him as Executive of the Year, the press release states.

Before Bertucci’s, for nearly 18 years, Bachmann dedicated his talents and expertise to Ruby Tuesday, the casual dining chain. In 1994, he joined the company as director of operations and, during his tenure, the brand grew from 80 restaurants to more than 1,000. He was recognized multiple times with the Chairman’s Award for top executive leadership.

In 1998, Bachmann turned to entrepreneurship and purchased the rights to the Ruby Tuesday concept on Long Island, New York. As an owner and operator, he grew his portfolio to 10 locations and more than $26 million in annual revenues. He was recognized as the Franchisee of the Year twice. During his 12 years of franchise ownership, Bachmann continued to support the organization through franchise relations and support. He assisted with recruiting, onboarding, training and supporting new franchisees. His team trained and developed numerous franchise teams in the U.S. and internationally.

In addition to his professional endeavors, Bachmann has been deeply involved with his community. He served as chairman of the board of the Long Island March of Dimes for nine years. He has also served on the organization’s state and national boards.

“My passion for the restaurant and hospitality industry started at an early age, and I’ve been fortunate to have been able to build my career on something I truly enjoy,” Bachmann said. “BurgerFi and Anthony’s are two amazing brands that are committed to offering guests the best quality products and service. I’m honored to take on this leadership role and help guide the organization into an exciting future.”


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