Parquet Group Founder Rick Van Warner has more than 30 years of restaurant and hospitality industry experience as a strategic management consultant, corporate executive, and communications professional.
Van Warner is recognized as a leading expert in crisis management, particularly within the volatile hospitality segment. For more than two decades he has managed crises and served as the national media spokesman for numerous companies during brand-threatening issues ranging from shootings and protests to foodborne illness outbreaks and discrimination charges.
Through Parquet Consulting Van Warner has helped founders, owners and senior leadership teams of emerging and mid-sized restaurant chains reach the next level of growth. He has also managed employee and franchisee communications, corporate culture shifts, and media relations during several corporate turnaround situations. Drawing from decades analyzing restaurant concepts and interacting with senior executive teams, Van Warner is an objective resource for strategic planning, corporate culture development and concept positioning.
Before founding The Parquet Group, Van Warner led media relations, employee and corporate communications, and crisis management as an officer at Darden Restaurants Inc. Prior to joining Darden he was the long-term Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Nation’s Restaurant News, where he chaired the annual Multi-Unit Food Service Operators (MUFSO) conference, and co-founded NRN Online.
Van Warner began his career as a daily newspaper reporter covering national and local politics among other subjects. He also has previous experience as a social worker counseling troubled youth. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, he serves on the board of directors of Tijuana Flats and is a past board member of several national industry organizations.