#40 Black Bear Diner
Anita Adams moved into the CEO role at Black Bear Diner in January 2020, replacing Bruce Dean as head of the casual breakfast concept after serving in the chief finance post since 2017. “For us, maintaining our culture will be critical as we continue to grow. We are rooted in such an amazing culture and a relentless focus on genuine hospitality, and as we grow, we don’t want to lose that,” Adams said. “We will continue to focus on hiring the best team members and working with the best franchise partners, and making them feel welcome, just as we do our guests.” This year marks the brand’s 25th anniversary since opening in Mount Shasta, California, and while Black Bear Diner began as a West Coast brand, Adams wants to enter new markets. “We offer a vast, enticing menu anchored in hearty portions and excellent value, and service rooted in genuine hospitality, and that’s a value that is resonating as we grow east, toward states such as Kansas, Arkansas and Texas,” she said. The brand is also focused on growing its off-premises business. It started offering to-go family meals during the pandemic and plans to continue expanding with third-party delivery. “That authentic culture and experience is what will keep our team members with us for the long term, and what will keep our guests coming back,” Adams added.