Pierre Panos, Fresh To Order

Pierre Panos, Fresh To Order

Pierre Panos, Founder and CEO

A South African native of Greek decent, entrepreneur and restaurateur Pierre Panos has a resume that does not disappoint. Having founded three restaurant concepts from scratch and owned four different businesses during his career, Panos learned the key to successful restaurant operation – differentiate yourself from the outset, creating something unique.

In 1988, at the age of 24, Panos developed a fast food mobile vending concept, which won the Small Business Development Award for South Africa. After selling the concept for a profit, Panos, a CPA by training, worked as a manager at Coopers & 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 Al’s Restaurant, which he operated with his brother for 5 years, building it into the 3rd busiest restaurant in South Africa, before selling it and moving to America.
Shortly after arriving in Atlanta in 1993, Panos became 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 Stoney River and Brookwood Grill, which he sold to Nashville based O’Charley’s Inc. in 2000.

In 2000, Panos established QS America, now a $60 million company, parenting 42 Papa Johns franchises, Brookwood Grill, Brookwood Catering and now its crown jewel, Fresh To Order (f2o).

Fresh To Order was founded in 2006, when Panos and his long-time executive chef Jesse Gideon, partnered to pioneer the innovative “fast fine” dining concept in Atlanta. The concept, which now has 10 restaurants quickly, distanced itself from fast-casual concepts by providing a finer dining taste profile and an elevated level of service and facilities, at a fast casual price point. Panos began franchising the highly successful brand in 2010. By 2017, he expects Fresh To Order to have 50 corporate and franchised locations open nationwide, with another 50 in various stages of development.

In addition to his full plate of business pursuits, Panos remains active in the restaurant industry as well as the community.