Chris offers a wide range of consulting and coaching offerings.
Services include business planning for privately held and family-owned businesses to help you grow your business and personal wealth while managing your risk. Services also include executive coaching, mentoring, development, and consulting with the Board of Directors & Executive Team.
As the CFO of the $70MM Lehigh Valley Restaurant Group, Inc., DBA Red Robin, Chris DeFrain sparked growth through his insightful financial and operations guidance.
Chris served as a strategic advisor to the CEO, Board of Directors, and Executive Leadership team through business and economic challenges, delivering leadership across IT, purchasing, payroll, accounting, and HR systems.
Chris regularly cultivates trust with external partners including banking entities, and suppliers, negotiating favorable terms and win-win agreements.
Chris is a dedicated public leader, serving in community leadership roles including as an Emmaus Borough Council Member and Board Member/Secretary for the Emmaus Community Foundation and East Penn School District Education Foundation.
He is recognized as an industry leader with frequent public speaking engagements including Breakout Session Speaker for the 2022 Restaurant Leadership Conference.
Chris was also a Finalist for the Lehigh Valley Business CFO of the Year Award. Chris plans to use his financial and industry expertise to serve as a Board Member/Director and deliver consulting expertise to privately held and family-owned businesses.
In his leadership roles for Red Robin (Lehigh Valley Restaurant Group), Chris served as CFO and most recently as VP, Strategic Planning and Business Development for two years.
He was instrumental to 50% revenue growth in 13 years for $70MM restaurant group, expanding from 17 to 21 restaurants, and delivering guidance to an organization with 2,100 team members.
Under Chris’ leadership, the company bolstered its financial position, strengthening the balance sheet, minimizing shareholder personal guarantees, and securing necessary financing for restaurant growth and program improvements.
Chris also was part of the team to form Talon Restaurants LLC, negotiating an area development agreement to build 15 Wingstop restaurants. Three restaurants were successfully opened by December 2022.
Chris overhauled the accounting organization, automating processes as necessary, identifying and promoting key talent into leadership roles, establishing a decision-making framework, and introducing training programs.
He prioritized executive development programs, developing a Staff Accountant into the CFO role, helping her to succeed in COVID challenges, and enabling her to join the Executive leadership team.
He also championed technology usage to drive results, introducing Ziosk pay-at-table devices across all restaurants in 2012, reducing customer and server complaints, and setting industry trend in utilizing technology to improve the customer experience.
He drove additional IT/technology improvements including automating manual tasks, NoWait App on iPad, Help Desk tool for issues tracking, state-of-the-art Aloha POS system, enterprise reporting tool delivering reports from POS, and NBO (NCR) cloud-based inventory management systems.
Chris started his career with Buckno Lisicky & Company, where he was promoted through the ranks from a paraprofessional to a CPA/Partner/Shareholder role.
He was an instrumental piece of firm growth and operations, identifying potential clients and delivering leadership in client relations, P&L analysis, tax planning and preparation, and business consulting.
He also introduced a new beginning-to-end internal accounting system, offering a wide range of financial services to clients including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Subway franchisees.