Charles Bililies is the Founder & CEO of Souvla. A Greek-American, Bililies comes from a family tradition of restaurateurs and is deeply passionate about the hospitality experience. He holds degrees in Hospitality Management from Cornell University and Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University. Bililies moved to California in 2006 and worked for Chef Thomas Keller at The French Laundry and Bouchon Bistro, as well as Chef Michael Mina at both his eponymous restaurant and RN74. With new Souvla locations opening, Bililies now leads strategic development for the restaurant group, focusing on new business opportunities, financial planning, team, culture, and brand consistency. Bililies also now serves as an advisor (both officially and unofficially) to partners in the food and tech space, including Apple, Square, Caviar, and Plate IQ. He regularly speaks on panels and in the press about the future of restaurants and tech, entrepreneurship, and how to develop profitable restaurants.
Tony Cervone is the culinary force behind Souvla, overseeing menu quality and consistency, team training, and daily culinary operations of the restaurant. Tony has been integral in developing the culinary team in anticipation of the company’s scaling efforts, setting the restaurant group up for success in the next stage of business. Prior to joining Souvla, Tony served as Chef de Cuisine of Kokkari Estiatorio, San Francisco’s #1 rated restaurant and the benchmark for fine dining Greek cuisine on the West Coast, for nearly a decade. Tony’s approachability, warm personality and innate leadership in the kitchen has created an atmosphere of collaboration and camaraderie, and Souvla’s dining room and kitchen teams alike love working for and with him.
Justine oversees all daily operations of Souvla's San Francisco restaurants, including the hiring and training of new managers and line-level employees, HR & payroll management, and business development. Originally hired onto Souvla’s opening team as a counter server, her drive, passion and commitment were evident from the start. Since the beginning, Justine has been promoted through the ranks, serving as the store’s first supervisor, then manager, then store general manager, and now service director. She is an example of the talent Souvla’s team seeks to develop from within the group.
As Souvla's Development Director, Ben oversees the operations and launch of all new restaurants. From kitchen design and equipment sourcing to vendor relations and systems implementation, Ben's eye for detail and organizational management have become integral as Souvla prepares for new store growth. Prior to joining the Souvla team, Ben led the culinary operations team at The Culinary Edge, a nationally-recognized culinary consulting firm based in San Francisco, working with food companies both large and small to translate brand and menu strategy into actionable culinary solutions.
As Operations Manager, Lauren is responsible for the day-to-day operations of all Souvla locations, overseeing its managers and staff, ensuring guest satisfaction and maintaining the quality, consistency, and hospitality Souvla is known for. Lauren began her career with Souvla as a counter server at the original Hayes location, quickly becoming a trusted and essential part of the operation running the flagship location. A protogeé of Justine, Lauren embodies Souvla's motto of "make it nice & be nice," and works in each of our restaurants daily developing the next generation of managers and supervisors.