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The mad scientist of Smashburger

The mad scientist of Smashburger

Dressed to the nines, CEO Tom Ryan was all business at a Smashburger in Burnsville, Minnesota.

The mad scientist of Smashburger

The mad scientist of Smashburger

Behind the line, Tom Ryan’s true colors came out as he described the many little techniques and ingredients that add up to big flavor.

The mad scientist of Smashburger

The mad scientist of Smashburger

Tom Ryan became especially emotive when he described the science of the actual smashing of ground beef.

  • Updated

Tom Ryan wasn't interested in being CEO of the Smashburger brand he co-founded in 2007, but as he rolls up in his BMW X6, impeccably dressed and with a full tank of confidence, it seems he was born ready for this role—and this interview. Ryan's impressive resume precluded his arrival at the restaurant. With a Ph.D. in flavor and fragrance chemistry and the inventions of the McGriddle and Stuffed Crust Pizza under his belt, he looked more like a flashy executive than a food science savant that's the bedrock of his career.

Rave tests mobile delivery at Pie Five

Rave tests mobile delivery at Pie Five

Pie Five is testing pizza delivery at two locations and is also trying out chicken wings.

Research Complete, Rave Tests New Ideas

Research Complete, Rave Tests New Ideas

Scott Crane is CEO of Rave Restaurant Group.

  • Updated

Scott Crane joined Dallas-based Rave Restaurant Group as CEO in January, after the parent company of Pie Five Pizza and Pizza Inn had turned in some tough quarters and the former CEO was gone. Several months of research have led to some promising tests, especially of delivery at Pie Five.

Fast-casual operators zoom in standout space

Fast-casual operators zoom in standout space

Smashburger's growth plans match the size of its burger.