A South African native of Greek decent, entrepreneur and restaurateur Pierre Panos has founded three restaurant concepts from scratch and owned four different businesses during his career. Panos learned the key to successful restaurant operations is to differentiate from the outset, creating something unique. In 1988, at the age of 24, Panos and his brother developed a fast food mobile vendng concept, which won the Small Business Development Award for South Africa. After selling the concept for a profit, Panos, a CPA by training, worked a a manager at Coopers &amp; Lybrand, the second largest financial services and Audit Corporation in the world at the time. A few years later, he developed and operated a full-service, casual dining restaurant, Late Nite Als Restaurant , before making the move to America.
Shortly after arriving in Atlanta in 1993, Panos become CFO and co-owner of Brookwood Grill, Inc. overseeing the operations of four stores with combined sales exceeding $16 million. He went on to found Stoney River Legendary Steaks in 1996, and later Brookstone Management, the parent company of Stone River and Brookwood Grille which he sold to Nashville based OCharleys in 2000.
In 2000 Panos established QS America, a $59 million company parenting 42 Pap Johns franchisees, Brookwood Grill, Brookwood Catering, and eventually, Fresh To Order (f20). Fresh To Order came about in 2006, when Panos and his long-time executive chef Jesse Gideon, partnered to pioneer the innovative fast fine dining concept in Atlanta, which quickly distanced itself from fast-casual concepts by providing a finer dining taste profile and an elevated level of service at a fast casual price point.
Panos began franchising the highly successful brand in 2010. By 2015, he expects Fresh To Order to have 50 locations open nationwide and another 50 in various stages of development. In addition to his full plate of business pursuits, Panos remains active int he restaurant industry as well as the community.
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Fresh to Order