RJ Dourney is a seasoned restaurateur having successfully developed multiple restaurant concepts throughout the US, Central America and Asia. Mr. Dourney is Chief Executive Officer and a Director of The Upper Crust Pizzeria, a high end fast casual pizzeria with locations in Boston, Virginia and California. Mr. Dourney is also the Managing Director of Fortis Advisors, an advisory group focused on working with private equity and individual investors in the M&A, brand strategy and operations areas in the restaurant industry.

Prior to joining Upper Crust, Mr. Dourney was CEO of Cosi, a publicly traded restaurant company with locations in the United State, Costa Rica, Panama and Dubai. Mr. Dourney is also the founder of Hearthstone Associates: formerly the largest Franchisee of Cosi and was one of the largest privately held restaurant companies in the New England. Mr. Dourney merged Hearthstone with Cosi Corporate in 2015. Prior to founding Hearthstone Associates, Mr. Dourney held a number of key executive positions including serving as COO of Au Bon Pain, a $350mm fast casual company and VP Franchise Operations and Development overseeing North America for Applebee's Restaurants, a $3.1 billion restaurant system. Mr. Dourney started his career with Chili’s joining the then start-up company at 20 locations and was recognized as a key operations leader, successfully developing the Northeast, the leading market as Chili’s reached 890 units domestically. He has extensive operations, real estate, strategic planning and development experience.

Mr. Dourney has served on a number of for profit and not for profit boards including the Board of Directors for public companies Cosi, Inc. and Frisch's Inc., as well as privately held companies Boloco and Jeepers and is currently a Director for Upper Crust Pizzeria and an advisor to YiDaLand, a restaurant franchise group scheduled to develop American brands in China beginning in 2018. Mr. Dourney attended Villanova University where he studied business and economics and is a frequent radio talk show guest and a university-level guest lecturer on subjects including entrepreneurial leadership, ethics in business and bringing Catholic values to the board room.



Contact

dourneyrj@gmail.com