Press Releases

March 2, 2020

HMSHost Appoints Joe Thornton Chief Operating Officer

BETHESDA, Md. (March 2, 2020) – HMSHost, global restaurateur and leader in travel dining in airports and motorways, appointed industry veteran Joe Thornton as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In this role, he will oversee HMSHost operations of more than 1,700 food and beverage locations in North America, as well as Culinary, Supply Chain, and Marketing & Communications. 

“I am excited for Joe to join the HMSHost executive team as our new COO,” said HMSHost President & CEO Steve Johnson. “He brings decades of leadership experience and a deep understanding of food and beverage that will further HMSHost’s position as innovators in the dining industry, and be an invaluable asset for our strategic initiatives. Together, we’ll optimize our success in the rapidly evolving world of travel dining.”

“I am both humbled and thrilled to join HMSHost’s leadership and look forward to working with an exceptional and talented team of operators to serve our guests. HMSHost is well-positioned to continue its growth trajectory and I am honored to help guide its success during this important time, “said HMSHost Executive Vice President & COO Joe Thornton.

Joe is an experienced operations leader who brings a demonstrated record of achieving results. Most recently, Joe was Chief Operating Officer at Jamba Juice where he led all field and headquarter functions related to operations, operations services, and training, as well as supporting franchise owners across the country. Prior to Jamba Juice, Joe was with Starbucks Coffee Company for 11 years including as Senior Vice President, where he led the operation of 2,400 company-operated stores and 40,000 employees.

Joe is actively involved in diversity work and is a keynote speaker on the topic of leadership in the community. He is also a published author, his first book, “The Power Of Or”, was released in February 2020.

HMSHost Leading the Industry
HMSHost is recognized by the industry as the top provider of travel dining with awards such as Restaurateur with the Highest Regard Customer Service, as well as Best Brand Restaurateur for Shake Shack by Airport Experience News. USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards gave first place honors to both of HMSHost’s Whisky River locations at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Raleigh-Durham International Airport. HMSHost is a leader in sustainability practices which includes its award-winning food donation program, as well as plans to eliminate conventional plastic straw use by 2020. The company also creates original award-winning events and campaigns including Airport Restaurant MonthChannel Your Inner Chef live culinary contest, 1,000 Acts of Kindness, and Eat Well. Travel Further. 

About HMSHost
Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates in more than 120 airports around the globe and at more than 80 travel plazas in North America. The company has annual sales of more than $3.5 billion and employs approximately 41,000 associates worldwide. HMSHost is a part of Autogrill Group, the world’s leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. With sales of €4.7 billion in 2018, the group operates in 31 countries and employs over 60,000 people. It manages more than 4,000 stores in more than 1,000 locations worldwide. Visit HMSHost.com for more information and connect with HMSHost on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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