Bob Luz graduated from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1982 with a degree in Hospitality Management. He went to work for The Rusty Scupper, a nationwide dinner house chain, becoming a Training General Manager at age 24 and also serving as the east coast recruiting representative. From 1986 to 1993 he ran two consulting firms, Hotel & Restaurant Personnel of America and Restaurant Brokers of America. While successful at consulting, Bob missed the emotional inspiration of seeing a motivated restaurant team grow, and so in 1993 he joined Back Bay Restaurant Group, a multi concept restaurant company based in Boston, as Vice President of Human Resources. The company went public and rapidly expanded along the eastern seaboard.
In 1993, one of his former clients called and asked him to join his Applebee’s franchise group as VP of Human Resources, and shortly thereafter they were purchased by the franchisor, Applebee’s International. Bob moved to Kansas City and as Executive Director of Human Resources was part of an executive team that grew the concept from 55 company and 130 franchised locations to 300 and 920 locations respectfully over the next 7 years. In late 1999, Bob wanted to get back closer to restaurant operations and the unit level teams, so he joined Ninety Nine Restaurants in Woburn, Ma, a family owned regional powerhouse with 47 locations as VP of Human Resources. The company expanded to 70 locations and then was purchased in 2003 by O’Charley’s Inc., a publicly traded company based in Nashville TN, and Bob became Chief Human Resources Officer for a company with 3 concepts, 367 locations, 22,000 team members and $850M in revenues. In 2012, the Company was purchased by American Blue Ribbon Holdings, where he led the integration and remained as CHRO for a company with 8 brands, 800 locations, 34,000 team members and revenues of $1.4B.
In 2013, Bob returned home and was named President/CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, a not for profit trade association whose mission is to promote and protect the best interests of the MA restaurant industry.