Ryan has held senior positions in branding, marketing and product development at Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Quiznos. He is credited with developing and launching popular menu items such as the McGriddle, the Stuffed Crust Pizza and the Steakhouse Beef Dip.
“Smashburger is at an inflection point,” Ryan said. “I’m excited at the prospect of taking on a more active, day-to-day role and working with the talented team that Josh Kern, our chief marketing officer has assembled. All the ingredients are in place to take Smashburger to the next level as we restore burgers to their rightful place.”
Ryan co-founded the Smashburger chain in 2007 with Rick Schaden, who is chairman of the company. More than 365 restaurants currently are operating or in development. In October 2015, Jollibee Foods Corp. of the Philippines acquired a 40 percent stake in Smashburger for $100 million.
“As we set an aggressive growth pace, maintaining the integrity of the Smashburger brand is paramount,”Schaden said. “There is no better person than Tom to guide the evolution of the Smashburger brand as we enter this next phase of growth at home and abroad. His vision and passion have always been at the heart of Smashburger.”