Travel F&B specialist SSP America has appointed Amanda Busby COO, to manage the company’s growing presence in airports across the US and Canada.

As chief operating officer, Busby will oversee the operation of more than 250 unique brands and lead efforts to drive employee engagement and build a robust talent and succession plan. Her goal will be to deliver operational excellence and outstanding customer service across the company’s growing portfolio, according to SSP.

Busby said, “I’m thrilled to join the renowned operations team of SSP America comprised of accomplished restaurateurs and leaders. My goal will be to build upon the historic success of the organisation and ensure the operations team is positioned for success while we deepen our employee engagement efforts to ultimately bring a ‘taste of place’ to the airports we serve across North America.”

A seasoned restaurant leader, Busby has more than 20 years’ experience, with expertise in driving business and revenue growth while increasing efficiency and reducing costs. She joins SSP America from Red Robin Restaurant Company where she most recently served as the vice president of operations, overseeing a portfolio of 230 restaurants staffed by 15,000 team members and generating $670m in annual sales. Busby started her tenured career at Red Robin as a training general manager and was subsequently promoted to regional operations director and regional vice president roles.

Busby’s appointment comes at a pivotal moment for SSP America as the company invests in talent, strengthens its employee engagement efforts, and builds operational strategies designed to ready itself for growth.

Michael Svagdis, CEO North America, said, “Our focus is on the future, and Amanda is a key part of our strategy as we respond to new business opportunities, build a culture based on a unique set of principles we call the ‘Passion principles’ and achieve an unparalleled level of operational excellence and customer service. I am confident our team will benefit greatly from Amanda’s leadership and am excited to head into 2022 with a new leader as part of the team.”