New O'Charley's parent plans to add 50 jobs here

CEO says expansion strategy for concepts being hashed out

The holding company that bought O’Charley’s this spring and will soon wrap up its purchase of J. Alexander’s today said it plans to hire up to 50 people to support its store network in 43 states.

American Blue Ribbon Holdings, which also owns Max & Erma’s and Village Inn chains among others, has annual revenues of about $1.5 billion and employs 35,000 employees. At an event Thursday in 100 Oaks to formally announce the relocation of its headquarters from Denver — the move was made more than three months ago — President and CEO Hazem Ouf said the new hires will help fill gaps in operations, human resources, technology, construction and other divisions.

Ouf also said American Blue Ribbon’s move here helped preserve 150 jobs at the former O’Charley’s headquarters on Sidco Drive. He lauded Nashville for being a “prosperous, dynamic community” and said he and his executive team have settled in here quickly.

Addressing his company’s various brands, Ouf said he expects O’Charley’s, Stoney River Legendary Steaks — a locally based concept that had been under the O’Charley’s corporate umbrella — and J. Alexander’s to grow their footprints significantly in the coming years. But with integration still being the main priority at this point — the J. Alexander’s acquisition is scheduled to close Nov. 1 — it might be early 2013 before detailed strategic plans are in place.

“The common denominator for these companies is that they have stood the test of time,” Ouf told a small group of company and economic development officials. “The future is bright for all of them.”

American Blue Ribbon did not receive state or Metro incentives to relocate its headquarters. But Ouf said the company is in line for some state money that is tied to the future job additions he envisions.