May 27, 2024

C3 Arabia ropes in Ian Toal as the new CEO


C3 (Creating Culinary Communities), a leading global food tech platform founded by visionary Sam Nazarian, jointly with WK Holding, a leading Saudi Arabia-based investment house, recently announced Ian Toal as its latest CEO. 

C3 Arabia ropes in the 30 years of Ian Toal’s leadership expertise in global hospitality, international supply chain management, and quick-service restaurants.

This latest news of Ian Toal’s appointment follows the recent announcement of the partnership between C3 and WK Holding to establish C3 Arabia, an international joint venture to manage and operate full-service culinary markets featuring award-winning chef-driven restaurants, digital kitchens, and mobile delivery.

The firm was launched in 2019 by Sam Nazarian, Founder, and CEO, C3 has pioneered the food tech space and is the fastest-growing foodtech platform today. C3 is re-imagining the foodservice industry by tapping into the power of exceptional culinary talent, digital brand IP, and bringing its portfolio of more than 40 culinary brands to established digital kitchens and mobile delivery with the nextgen Go by Citizens app. 

Expanding into international markets, C3 Arabia is a joint venture funded by Smart Food Holding (SFH), a division of WK Holding, and C3 by sbe through its consortium of high profile partners, including Layla Abuzaid, Tharawat Technology, and Yasser Alobaidan. 

Abuzaid has embarked to assemble an operating team based in Riyadh, which CEO Ian Toal will now oversee, working to identify, mentor, and incubate local culinary talent and deliver best-in-class execution across the C3 Arabia operating platform. 

Statement from C3s Founder and CEO Sam Nazarian

Commenting on the new appointment, he stated “This is an exciting time for C3 as we introduce our digital restaurant brands to Saudi Arabia. I am thrilled to have C3 Arabia’s CEO Ian Toal at the helm to ensure success. His wealth of knowledge and experience is invaluable as we work to create renowned high-energy dining destinations for food and culture in the Middle East.”

Statement from Layla Abuzaid, Founder and CEO of WK Holding

She stated: “We’re thrilled to announce the appointment of Ian Toal as CEO of  C3 Arabia. Ian’s robust track record serving as former CEO of Alfa Corporation and President of Alshaya Group fueled by his pioneering outlook will prove  invaluable as we transform the food and beverage industries in the region.”

She further added: “Ian’s regional expertise combined with the visionary leadership of our partner Sam Nazarian will generate an unprecedented platform to unlock local culinary talent, celebrate Saudi’s vibrant culture and usher in a dynamic, holistic lifestyle model that positions the Kingdom as a global hub and an epicenter of innovation in line with Vision 2030.”

Ms. Abuzaid continued, ” We’re in a privileged position. We’re able to instigate truly transformative change and embed world-class operations because of the vision and ambition of our government. It takes unwavering resilience and an enduring commitment to the future of our country and its people to break through barriers, and today our country has this leadership.”

As per the C3 Arabia, its CEO Ian Toal has a career that has spanned from the USA, Europe, and the Gulf Cooperation Council – the economic union that consists of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. 

Toal has powered more than 40 brands across 600 restaurants in 10 nations. These successes have powered a global understanding of what it takes to make an international business successful, as well as achieving targets both financial and personal for investors. 

Most recently, Ian Toal helmed the Riyadh-based Alfa Co. which operates 10 restaurant and digital kitchen brands globally and holds almost 100 brick and mortar locations. Alfa Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Al Fasaliah Group, one of the top Saudi corporations led by its president HRH Prince Mohammed Al Faisal. 

As per the C3 Arabia’s report, within his tenure with Alfa Co. Toal led the expansion of award-winning restaurants such as Steak House, Piatto, FireGrill, City Fresh Kitchen, and SteakHouse Burgers.

Prior to his work with Alfa Co., Ian Toal served as the President of Alshaya Group based in Kuwait. During his time with Alshaya Group he managed the expansion of global brands such as The Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Changs, Texas Roadhouse, Shake Shack, Blaze Pizza, Raising Cane’s, Pizza Express, Katsuya, Spontini, Dean & Deluca, Ihop, and Pinkberry. 

He was voted “World’s Best Restaurant Partner” by the Global Restaurant leadership conference in 2017 /18. 

Statement from Ian Toal CEO of C3 Arabia

Commenting on his new post, he stated, “I am honored to be working with visionaries Sam Nazarian and Layla Abuzaid. The sky’s the limit as we aim to bring C3 ’s world-renowned talent and global brands to Saudi Arabia. I look forward to leading this charge and identifying, mentoring, and incubating local culinary talent, working to brand and export Saudi hospitality culture to the world.”

As per the firm’s announcement, it is set to introduce 40 global brands to the region including  C3 s popular global brands comprising of Umami Burger, Sam’s Crispy Chicken, Krispy Rice, Sa’Moto, Cicci di Carne, El Pollo Verde, Kumi, EllaMia, Plant Nation, 12 Caviar and more. 

For C3, no other restaurant group has amassed such an influential collective of globally renowned culinary talents. Across C3 portfolio brands, Chefs Masaharu Morimoto, Dario Cecchini, Katsuya Uechi, Dani Garcia, Michael Israel, Vincenzo Rossy, and Romain Fornell have made haute cuisine accessible, cultivating a global community of fans. 

C3  has sold more than 2.3 million meals during the last twelve months. As of February 2021, C3 has over 800 digital brand locations across the U.S with an expansion pipeline to well over 1,000. 

To date, C3 has hired more than 3,500 employees across the U.S. with plans to hire another 5,000 employees domestically and internationally with offices in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, London, United Arab Emirates, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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