SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwired - Dec 7, 2015) - MOD Pizza, the rapidly expanding pioneer of fast casual pizza, today announced that it has named John Nelson as Chief Executive Officer of its United Kingdom operations. An engaging restaurant operator, Nelson joins from Nando's UK to lead the MOD Squad in bringing the Company's made on demand pizza and people-first culture to the UK. Nelson will be charged with overseeing the growth and development of MOD Pizza's first international market. Mr. Nelson will work closely with MOD Pizza joint venture partner Sir Charles Dunstone and his long-standing business partner, Roger Taylor, ahead of MOD Pizza's first UK restaurant opening in 2016.

"We are thrilled to be welcoming John to the MOD Pizza family. His track record of developing culture-lead companies will be of tremendous value to MOD Pizza as we build a strong infrastructure ahead of entering the UK market," said Scott Svenson, co-founder and CEO of MOD Pizza. "John's rich UK experience and respect for the MOD Pizza mission to create opportunities for growth and giving back, provides us with a true ambassador to lead us to success in the United Kingdom. We look forward to working closely with him to bringing MOD Pizza and the MOD Squad culture to The UK in the coming year."

Nelson, who has over 20 years of experience developing successful restaurant and retail concepts across the United Kingdom, joins MOD from global restaurant chain Nando's where he was the Operations Director accountable for over 350 restaurants. At Nando's, he oversaw operations, strategy execution, team development and new restaurant openings, centered around Nando's core values of pride, passion, courage, integrity and family to drive the team's success and loyal consumer following in the UK. Prior to Nando's, Nelson held several leadership positions for one of Europe's largest consumer electronics retailers, Dixons Stores Group (formerly Curry's), including Central Operations Director, Divisional Director and Customer Operations Manager.

"I am really excited to be joining such a high growth brand and look forward to working closely with the MOD Pizza team to shape and drive our entrance into the UK market," said John Nelson, MOD Pizza UK CEO. "When I started with Nando's, I was really attracted to the opportunity to be part of and grow a restaurant concept that put emphasis on its people, both the team internally and broader community. The chance to introduce MOD Pizza internationally reminds me of that culture and growth potential, and I see tremendous runway for the brand in the UK market. I'm eager to open the doors of our first location next year to show UK pizza fans what the buzz surrounding this great brand is all about."

Nelson will join MOD Pizza beginning 5th of January.

Seattle-based MOD Pizza is the pioneer of the fast casual made-to-order pizza segment, founded in 2008 by entrepreneurs Scott and Ally Svenson. MOD's individual artisan-style pizzas are made on demand, allowing customers to create their own salads and pizzas, using fresh-pressed dough and signature sauces for one price. Pizzas are hand-cooked in an 800 degree oven in less than three minutes and salads are individually hand-tossed for each customer. The menu is rounded out with handspun milkshakes, house-made lemonades and iced teas, and local craft beers and wine.

With 88 locations in 14 states, MOD is committed to creating not just a cool place to eat, but an inspired place to work. The company was recently ranked seventh on Fortune's annual '20 Best Workplaces in Retail' list, and has been recognized as one of the "Fastest Growing Private Companies in America" by Inc. Magazine, in addition to being ranked a "Fastest Growing Private Company" and one of "Washington's Best Work Places" by the Puget Sound Business Journal. MOD was also awarded the 2015 Community Impact Award by Seattle Business, the FEAT 2015 Outstanding Employer Award, and was nominated as the 2015 Large Private Employer of the Year Award by the Washington State Governor's Committee on Disability Issues. The MOD Difference Video