Front Burner Society Focuses On Innovation, Restaurant Experience

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Jack Gibbons
Jack Gibbons

Exploring The Limitless Possibilities In The Restaurant Business

Jack Gibbons has made a career out of being on the front burner of restaurant innovation.

As in Front Burner Restaurants, LLC, serving as president and chief creative officer since 2008. Now, he moved into a new role of CEO with one of his first projects being the FB Society – a reshaping and repositioning the company’s portfolio of concepts, adopting a 360-degree approach to deliver unrivaled experiences to both their employees and guests.

Gibbons is the co-founder and restaurant re-imaginer of over 20 brands in the past dozen years, and these brands have supplied jobs and created experiences for guests as well as his team. He said the FB Society is on a quest to continue to make bigger impact in guests’ and employees’ lives, inspiring them to use their talents to make a difference.

“Our organizational capabilities are built around fostering ideas, doubling down on innovation and creating relevant brands. At FB Society we live in the future and believe the possibilities are limitless,” Gibbons said.

Whiskey Cake, Sixty Vines, Mexican Sugar, Ida Claire & Haywire

Whiskey Cake Plano
Whiskey Cake Plano Photo credit: Whiskey Cake Facebook

The award-winning multi-concept operator counts among its distinctive restaurant brands Whiskey Cake, Sixty Vines, Mexican Sugar, Ida Claire and Haywire. They have used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to analyze and double-down on key elements of their success, with the result being a fully integrated collection of brands uniquely positioned for long-term growth and success.

Prior to joining Front Burner, Gibbons spent 25 successful years with the popular Pappas Restaurant Group.

Gibbons described FB Society as “The courage to create and execute brands never imagined.”

“We are idea activators. FB Society will build on the incredible foundation created by Front Burner Restaurants,” he said. “Society is defined as a group of people with the same beliefs. We recognize our results are born from our people, and we’ll carefully select, develop and nurture our Society talent to ensure they can be their best here.”

Creating An Exceptional Employee Journey

Gibbons said the vision of FB Society is to create an exceptional employee journey with the network of people as the company’s priority.

“By articulating the things that matter the most to us and ensuring our team, vendors and farming partners are also living our beliefs,” he said. “We know we can continue to build momentum and drive results. We focus on local products with many brands, our local farmer and vendor purchases helps them keep growing their own business during this tough time that they are losing many customers.

“We think in terms of communities and neighborhoods. It will take an army to make things right, but we want to do our part, job by job, meal by meal and partner by partner.”

Gibbons added the company has also focused on leveraging its assets to assist through initiatives like Furlough Kitchen- the first FREE franchise that has fed almost a million people.

Gibbons said he is calling on his years of previous challenges – and success – of growing Front Burner and Pappa’s to make FBS work. He noted a constant throughout his career has been driving positive change, and that’s exactly what he’s doing again in a time when it is desperately needed.

Reimagining the future

“This pandemic gives our FBS team the opportunity to re-imagine what our future can look like. The stakes are bigger, but I’ve also got years more experience under my belt to lean on,” he said. “I believe in our mission and our team. That gives me the confidence to dream big with them.”

BTS: Behind The Society

The company recently launched a new podcast entitled “BTS: Behind the Society.” It is designed to engage both the team and guests, and to showcase innovators, disruptors and haymakers in the restaurant space.

“Because our portfolio of brands is expansive, we have a desire to connect our teams through these stories. It will allow us to share the excitement of new partnerships, the fruits of new innovation and the failures that are behind many of our successes,” he said.

Also in the plans are the expansion of the company’s popular Whiskey Cake and Sixty Vines concepts to new markets. In addition, the company recently launched SoB (Son of a Butcher), a slider bar, along with an imaginative new chicken tender concept, Buttercup.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the future of our company, the brands we have created and those we’ve yet to dream of, especially knowing that my great friend and partner, Jack Gibbons, is at the helm as CEO,” FB Society Chairman Randy DeWitt said. “Jack has long been recognized for his unmatched creative energy and operational expertise that push culinary and hospitality boundaries. FB Society is in extraordinary hands.”

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Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and two granddaughters