Post Creator: Rosie Bartley

Appetite for Growth: Redefining the Restaurant Experience with Manny Hilario, The ONE Group

By ICR | Podcast

At a time when many restaurants are cutting back on what they offer guests, The ONE Group is raising the bar on the dining experience, and positioning themselves for huge success in the process.

Our guest on the show today is Manny Hilario, CEO of The ONE Group and long-time friend of ICR. The ONE Group is a global hospitality company that develops and operates upscale and polished casual, high energy restaurants and lounges. Their two primary restaurant brands are STK and Kona Grill, where they aspire to be the global leader in vibe dining, a unique combination of casual, upscale lounge and restaurant experiences. They trade under the symbol STKS.

Manny joined The ONE Group as a board member in April 2017, and in October 2017 he became President and CEO. Prior to that he was CFO of Sizzling Platter, and was COO at Einstein Noah Restaurant. Manny began his career at McDonalds where he held various financial roles with the company.

On this episode, Manny and Tom Ryan talked about The ONE Group’s bold approach to hospitality, their growth strategy, and of course their unique vibe dining concept that is setting them apart from the competition.


  • What the vibe dining concept offers (2:49)
  • Manny describes the STK and Kona Grill brands (4:09)
  • New restaurant locations and how they’re doing (5:58)
  • The prospects for ROI on the expansion of the restaurants (8:01)
  • The total addressable market for the restaurant brand (10:20)
  • Manny discusses how their franchises work (12:55)
  • The ONE Group’s optimism heading into the holidays (14:50)
  • Technology’s role in the restaurant business (16:58)
  • Manny talks about the deal with Reef Kitchens and the ghost kitchen opportunity (19:29)
  • The ONE Group’s philosophy on capital allocation (21:02)
  • What Manny has learned from his various roles in the industry (22:49)
  • Recent trends in the industry that have surprised Manny (24:59)


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Manny Hilario, The ONE Group


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