Voodoo Brewing Co. Announces Erik Ivey as New COO; Bringing Decades of Experience from Quiznos, Noodles and Company, Chipotle and Yum! Brands
Erik Ivey, Chief Operating Officer, Voodoo Brewing Co.

From starting as a Restaurant General Manager, Ivey brings years of restaurant experience to his new role and plans to leverage both this expertise and his passion for connection to strengthen the franchise system.

Voodoo Brewing Co. Announces Erik Ivey as New COO; Bringing Decades of Experience from Quiznos, Noodles and Company, Chipotle and Yum! BrandsMeadville, PA  (RestaurantNews.comVoodoo Brewing Co., the pro-fun, anti-corporate franchise with 18 brewpubs open across the U.S., has named Erik Ivey its new Chief Operating Officer. Ivey has over two decades of experience in the restaurant space, having worked at multiple major brands including Quiznos, Chipotle and Yum! Brands. Now, as he steps into leadership with Voodoo Brewing Co., Ivey says he looks forward to supporting local owners as the growing brand continues to expand across the U.S., contributing to an unbreakable culture of connection and collaboration that propels franchisees forward.

“At the end of the day, my job is about making the people around me better by giving them the tools, resources and systems they need to be great at what they do,” said Ivey. “I truly believe that the success of any business is in the art of balancing business management while pouring your whole heart into the people and culture of the brand. If you don’t engage in and support your people, it doesn’t matter how well your business performs. I see my main role as helping people to be the best versions of themselves and to connect them to what they do and how they do things within the Voodoo system and culture of the Brand.”

Ivey’s commitment to connection and support has been growing since his time as a general manager when an executive vice president showed up at a location to clean the entire restaurant side by side with him. This experience solidified the importance of a person-first approach and viewing the entire system as a team, and Ivey still carries that with him today.

“That really taught me that, no matter what level you get to or what you do in a company, we’re all operators at heart,” he explained. “Whether you’re an EVP, the CEO, a district manager — you can still connect with your people and help out at the store level.”

When Ivey learned of the opportunity with Voodoo Brewing Co., he was first intrigued by the name, but his interest quickly grew as he met Matteo Rachocki, CEO, and the rest of the team in Pennsylvania. As he familiarized himself with the brand, Ivey came across a phrase that really solidified the choice: “Craft without community is just beer.”

Now, as Ivey becomes integrated into the Voodoo Brewing Co. community, he is bringing his passion for the person-first approach.

One of his first major projects will be to continue developing the core menu that will be available across all brewpubs. The Voodoo Brewing Co. menu often features items that may be available in other restaurant settings, but the Voodoo approach puts a special twist on them to create what Ivey describes as a magical experience.

“We want to create a menu that wows the guest and embraces them when they come in,” explained Ivey. “The way my team and I imagine menu innovation is, ‘How do we make this so unique that it’s almost as unique as the name, Voodoo Brewing?’ Creating a menu that is something really unique and special for the guest is a huge part of our mission over the next year.”

In addition to menu innovation, Ivey shares that strengthening the Brands’ systems, tools, and processes is a critical part of the growth of the Brand. “We need to pivot towards developing a Brand structure that’s easy to understand and execute”. “Our franchise community needs to feel supported, understood, and cared for”. “Improving the structure is just one way that Voodoo can ensure the success of its’ owners,” explains Ivey

Looking toward his future with Voodoo Brewing Co., Ivey says he is embracing one of his favorite quotes. “We’ll be rewarded based on how effective we are at making the people around us better.” For him, this reward is far more than the financial success that comes with a strong business; Ivey is also interested in the reward felt in the heart and mind.

“I think it’s so important to change the way we do things in the restaurant industry and lead differently,” he said. “We need to focus our attention in the direction of connecting with people, and I don’t think there’s a lot of that in our world right now. I look forward to changing that with Voodoo.”

About Voodoo Brewing Co.

More than just a brewery, Voodoo Brewing Co. is a community of passionate beer lovers dedicated to pushing the boundaries of craft beer. Alongside world-renowned “liquid gold,” provided directly from the brewery, local owners offer killer food, craft cocktails and hard seltzer in their community-focused brewpubs. Each location has a customized logo, locally inspired menu and consistent local events, allowing Voodoo Brewing Co. franchise partners to become truly immersed in their communities. With 18 locations across multiple states, Voodoo Brewing Co. has already captured the hearts of beer enthusiasts nationwide and has proven itself as the fastest-growing brewpub franchise in the world. Now, it is on track to quickly grow roots across the nation. For more information, visit VoodooFranchising.com.

Lauren Turner