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


Michael Cherney is the chairman 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


Victor Heutz is the President / CEO 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

Chad Magner

VP of Operations

Chad Magner is the Vice President of Operations and has been in Operations with the Pizza Hut Brand for 37 years.

Prior to taking on the role of VP of Operations, Chad held a director's position for the past 11 years. Chad worked for Pizza Hut Inc. for several years serving in many capacities including as a Franchise Operations Leader where he was responsible for helping improve the overall performance of over 500 units by helping owners and key operators.

Chad's leadership style allows collaboration with the intent of enabling the best idea to win the day. There is always a requirement to have a plan and a timeline to accomplish goals. The "X by Y" is his calling card.

Chad loves golf, riding his motorcycle, and spending time with his wife Nicole and son Caleb. They have six grown children with nine grandchildren that they love to see as often as they can.

team person

Monica Smith

VP of Real Estate

Monica R. Smith is the Vice President of Real Estate at Grand Mere Restaurant Group; where she oversees real estate transactions, facilities and construction.

Prior to joining Grand Mere Restaurant Group, Monica held senior positions at Sprint/T-Mobile, Applebee’s, and AMC Theatres. Monica is a versatile and highly accomplished professional with over 20 years’ experience in real estate. She drives value through transaction negotiations and management of acquisitions, consolidations, and dispositions. She is an extremely strong communicator with a reputation for building teams and creating strategic partnerships.

Monica and her family enjoy traveling, camping and boating on the Lake of the Ozarks.