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Former Panera Exec Joins Workplace Catering Brand


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Jim Rand, a longtime restaurant exec who built the catering business at Panera Bread and P.F. Chang’s, has joined ezCater, a national marketplace for business catering that’s revolutionizing the game of feeding hungry corporate offices.

In his new role as catering practice leader at Boston-based http://ezcater.comezCater, Rand will apply his decades of experience in building and scaling catering operations to help ezCater’s partners grow their off-premises business.

With more than 40 years in the restaurant biz, Rand focused much of his career on building successful off-premises operations. As VP of catering at Panera Bread, he built the company’s catering business and grew catering revenue from 2 percent to nearly 10 percent of individual store sales. Rand also developed more than two dozen Panera franchise locations where he created the successful catering model that he later introduced company-wide.

“I love talking about catering and helping operators succeed, which is why ezCater is the perfect place for me. Catering has been an important piece of the organizations where I’ve worked in the past, and I’m so excited to join ezCater where it’s the only focus,” said Rand. “The industry is changing drastically and I believe ezCater is the new model for success. I’m eager to help ezCater’s restaurant partners seize the opportunity that catering represents for them.”

Off-premises dining has been a bright spot in a restaurant industry faced with flat or shrinking revenues. Business catering in particular has grown by nearly 40 percent in the past four years to become a $22 billion market, according to data from Technomic.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Jim to our team,” said Victoria Brady, ezCater’s VP of caterer partnerships. “He brings unmatched industry experience to ezCater, plus he’s innately kind and helpful so he’s a natural fit. Adding Jim to the team will ensure that we provide the very best solutions to help our restaurant partners grow their catering businesses.”

As a final note, I’ll take whatever’s good if anybody’s ordering out today.

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Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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