Joey Simons, formerly the senior vice president of operations at C3, has joined Montclair Hospitality Group as CEO. Montclair said its founder handpicked Simons for his experience developing “some of the world’s leading elevated dining, food tech and hospitality brands.”

Based in Jersey City, MHG is the parent company of restaurant brands including Ani Ramen House, Mochinut, pastaRAMEN—by James Beard nominated Chef Robbie Felice—Sushi by Bou and Kai Yang with more chef-driven restaurant concepts in development.

With his new appointment, Simons leads all of MHG’s business units, overseeing business development and growth, as well as leading strategy on company operations. In a short span of time, he has orchestrated strategic wins for the company, adding top-line revenue and reducing operating costs.

Preparing MHG for explosive growth, he has begun assembling a team that the company says “resembles a who’s-who of the culinary world.”

Commenting on Simons’ appointment, MHG founder Luck Sarabhayvanija said, “With our plans for business expansion I knew I needed to bring in the best. Joey embodies MHG’s path to success and our lead to expand MHG and our suite of dining brands into 2023.” Adding to this statement Sarabhayvanija said, “Not only does Joey have the extensive experience and knowledge that will put MHG on top, but his passion for the industry is unrivaled.”

Under Simons’ leadership, MHG inked new deals to bring MHG’s pastaRAMEN restaurant to Seattle, as well as Montclair, New Jersey, and with partnerships in the works in Las Vegas and New York City.

Prior to his work with MHG, Joey Simons served as chief operating officer and chief of staff for sbe. As part of SBE’s leadership team, he worked to develop visionary chef-led concepts and led the operations team in delivering award-winning culinary experiences and digital restaurant brands such as Umami Burger, Krispy Rice, Sam’s Crispy Chicken, Kumi and more. Additionally, Simons oversaw the group’s elevated dining concepts, Katsuya and Casa Dani.

Prior to sbe, Joey Simons served as director of operations for Blue Ribbon Restaurant Group, steering business operations, finance, and strategic initiatives for a $75M restaurant portfolio.