Grand Mere Restaurant Group

Our Team

Our Leadership

Grand Mere Restaurant Group is led by a seasoned group of industry veterans with significant experience acquiring, operating, and growing restaurant and non-restaurant businesses.

team person

Michael Cherney

CEO / CO-FOUNDER

Michael Cherney is the CEO and co-founder of Grand Mere Restaurant Group, where he is primarily responsible for the strategic growth, financial, and real estate aspects of the business. Prior to co-founding Grand Mere, Michael was a senior investment professional at Thayer Street Partners and D.E. Shaw Group, where he spent most of his career making private equity and commercial real estate investments.

Michael serves on the International Franchisee Board of Pizza Hut (IPHFHA) as well as various other professional and philanthropic groups. When he isn’t working, Michael enjoys cooking, rooting for Chicago sports, and most of all, spending time with his wife Sara, and his two children Cora and Max.

team person

Victor Heutz

President / Co-Founder

Victor Heutz is the President and co-founder of Grand Mere Restaurant Group, where he oversees all store-level and non-store level operations and overall organizational performance.

Prior to co-founding Grand Mere Restaurant Group, Victor was the COO of Noodles & Company, a VP of Operations at Starbucks where he oversaw nearly 1,000 restaurants in the NE USA, and other senior roles at Buffalo Wild Wings, Burger King, and Dunkin Doughnuts.

A die-hard New York Yankees and Jets fan, Victor is also an avid fitness fanatic, passionately follows current events and political / business matters and enjoys spending time with his wife Christine, and two children Vic and Sarah.

team person

Steve McDermott

VP of Finance

Steve McDermott is the Vice-President of Finance for Grand Mere Restaurant Group, where he oversees the finance, accounting, analysis and reporting functions.

Prior to joining Grand Mere Restaurant Group, Steve was the SVP Finance & Accounting for Sizzler Restaurants and prior to that Senior Director of FP&A for Buffets, Inc. Steve has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry most of his life as he loves to serve people.

Steve is married to his high school sweetheart Lisa where they recently relocated back to the Midwest after many years on west coast. They love to travel and spend time with family and good friends.

team person

Jeff Knowles

VP of Operations

Jeff Knowles is Vice President of Operations and has been in operations with the Pizza Hut Brand for over 40 years.

Prior to joining Grand Mere, he led the operations teams for another highly rated, 80+ unit Pizza Hut franchisee.

Jeff is a servant leader whose leadership permeates through the entire store operations and field leadership teams.

Jeff is a true lover of the outdoors where he owns operates a ranch in Montana, loves to travel and enjoys all outdoor recreational activities with his wife Lydia.

Jeff and Lydia also enjoy time with their two grown children, Chris and Jessie.