It's a new era for Michael Mina, arguably San Francisco's most enterprising chef. The 47-year-old restaurateur with ten Bay Area restaurants under his belt (and another 17 across the country) has stepped down as CEO of the Mina Group. According to Mina, whose title is now chef and founder, the move will allow him to spend more time in the kitchen and create new concepts instead of managing his 1,800 employees, which makes sense considering Mina's background as a chef versus a businessman. "As we're growing, things become important like what type of future your employees will have. People have to understand there's a bigger vision to a business," Mina told the SF Business Times. "I found myself working on that so much … and it's not the best use of my time and skills."
Taking over the more managerial and operational roles will be Bill Freeman, the former CEO and chairman of Bertucci's Italian restaurants, of which there are 91 in New England. Freeman has also led McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant and held senior management positions at The Walt Disney Co. and more. Mina hopes Freeman can lead Mina Group in the same direction as Wolfgang Puck or the Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, opening a few concepts per year in hotels, casinos and more. So don't be surprised if lobster pot pie shows up in the freezer section.