Solidifying its status as the nation’s fastest-growing dumpling automat franchise, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop has introduced Michael Liristis as its new chief operating officer.
Since opening its flagship location in the East Village in May 2021, the dumpling-on-demand concept is rapidly expanding its national footprint with more than 75 Brooklyn Dumpling Shop units now in development and plans for international expansion. As the newly appointed COO, Michael will lend his years of restaurant industry experience to support Brooklyn Dumpling Shop in meeting its target growth trajectory of 250 units in development within the next two years.
An innovative quick-service restaurant, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop was founded by New York City restauranteur Stratis Morfogen and has grown to new heights in partnership with franchise development firm Fransmart.
“Michael and I share a Greek heritage, and he has proven himself as a powerhouse in operations, playing a crucial role in elevating Brooklyn Dumpling Shop to the next stage,” says Stratis. “I’ve had the privilege of watching Michael’s career grow to the true force he is today within the hospitality industry. When the opportunity arose to bring him on board as COO, it was a no-brainer.”
A native and longtime resident of New York, Michael grew up as a part of his family restaurant business, where he learned every aspect of the industry. As the business grew and expanded into Greece, he saw firsthand the possibilities of making his own dreams in hospitality a reality. His professional career began with the Livanos Restaurant Group, where he had hands-on training in fine dining at 2- and 3-star establishments. While working toward his certification as a master sommelier, he further expanded his knowledge and expertise in fine wine, winery operations, and hospitality, ultimately opening two restaurants of his own, NISI and Quench Wine Shop.
As his career progressed, he became drawn into the quick service industry, where he deepened his experience with brands such as Bare Burger, Elevation Burger and Shake Shack. He also worked with Kitopi, energizing the startup with a build-out of multi-unit restaurant operations, and Jersey Mike’s (Prospect Capital Group), for which he managed over 15 restaurants earning over $30m in revenue.
Michael’s reputation led him to connect with the Serafina Management Group, where he was a part of the visionary team opening stores with Serafina, Farinella, Serafina Express, and Cafe Serafina. It was at this point that he connected with Stratis to join Brooklyn Dumpling Shop.
“I’ve worked with quite a few restaurants in my time; looking back, I can see they were all preparing me to take this exciting new role with Brooklyn Dumpling Shop,” says Michael. “I appreciate Stratis’ confidence in me to run with the many ideas I have for growing this brand. The sky is truly the limit for this innovative concept, and we can’t wait to bring its delicious menu and automat technology to neighborhoods nationwide.”
Michael has now worked with the team for several months. Stratis says: “In a short time, Michael has helped us reach the next level. Our franchisees are overwhelmingly excited to work with him and tap into his extensive knowledge and experience growing restaurant brands.”