Shauna Smith

President - Four Foods Group/Savory



“Necessity is the mother of invention and that is why we are here today”

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Shauna Smith, President – Four Foods Group/Savory

I still remember opening day in our very first restaurant like it was yesterday. Except it wasn’t yesterday… it was 11 years ago. We had just moved into a newly developed area in Utah that was starved for eating establishments. We asked ourselves what we would love to eat if we got to choose. And that is how we found Kneaders. It was a success immediately, even in the midst of a recession.

Imagine me with my hat and hairnet on, apron and managing one location with 60 or so employees. I was able to serve in every capacity in our restaurant and I learned so much about how to run a successful restaurant. We built Kneaders into a legacy brand.

I had no idea what I was doing at the time. But I had been a sounding board for my husband while he was the CEO of two technology companies. I had a good start. Lots of deep digging, problem solving and solution finding during those 14-15-hour days. I love the restaurant industry. I am Southern— born and raised in Alabama, so hospitality is in my DNA. I was meant to serve people through food. I appreciate that I get to work in an industry where hospitality is important.

I think of restaurant founders who are in the same boat I was — trying to operate a successful business while growing and expanding. That is why we exist… we are the solution to that dilemma. As we partner with the original founders, we work together to execute the vision of each of our promising portfolio brands. I still think like an operator. It has served me well. I am in my second year as President of Four Foods Group. We serve as the Value-Add team to our Savory Fund which is focused on funding the growth and replication of promising brands. I wish there had been someone like us when I was getting started. I would have jumped at the chance to have the knowledge, know- how, the experience and the support of Savory. Necessity is the mother of invention and that is why we are here today

My job as the President is to ensure each of our brands meets its full potential for growth. I work with each of the portfolio company’s leadership – R&R Barbeque, Mo’bettahs and Swig – to ensure we have the right people in place, that they have all the necessary resources to execute their goals and to meet the vision we have for each brand while under our watch. For us, every day is Important – what we say, what it feels like, the experience our customers have. Our most important work happens inside the walls of each of our restaurants starting with our employees and guests to the delicious food that brings us all together.

For me, I love to see our teams execute. I have done everything from A to Z in the restaurant business. And I know what it takes – it is hard work. And I LOVE every step of this process – to scale brands and being part of a winning team. The humans are the very best part of my work – from our value-add team to our brand teams to our guests and to our founders.

Each one of them are the reason I wake up every day.

What is the legacy we want to leave as FFG/Savory?

  • Grow & develop people, nourish individuals
  • Positivity breeds success
  • Successful brands, successful people
  • Industry disruptor
  • Abundance mentality – give back, share with others

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