The Neches Restaurant Group is delighted to name Mike Daniels as General Manager of the all new Crown Pizza of Katy.
As GM, Mike Daniels will oversee staff and daily operational procedures on-site for a unique dual GM role of both Crown Pizza and sister restaurant, Willy Burger, where he has dutifully served the role for the better part of the last six years.
Daniels brings a positive, can-do attitude along with his experience in the position at Willy Burger. His valuable knowledge of the restaurant business, his innate leadership, and his service-first personality will help launch the new pizzeria as we enter the new year and enter a new era of the Neches Restaurant Group.
Chief Product Officer, Chef Alden Pond, says Daniels is built for the role of GM and is proud to have him on board.
“The Neches Group’s vision is all about bringing ‘world class flavors and hometown charm’ to the community,” says Pond. “Nobody represents this or embodies this quite like Mike Daniels. Willy Burger’s guests and our crew see how he gives a hundred percent all the time. He makes a difference and that’s exactly what we want to do with Crown Pizza: make a difference.”
Daniels has served Willy Burger in multiple roles over the years leading up to the General Manager position.
He trained at the original Willy Burger in Beaumont, Texas and set the tone early for the diner in Katy. The results can be seen in how regulars come in and immediately greet Mike with a hug or handshake as well as the multiple honors of being named “Best Burger in Katy” by readers of the Katy Times.
“I love this. I love when it gets busy, people are moving, things are clicking, and working together so everyone’s having a good time on both sides of the counter,” says Daniels. “We want to serve the good people of Katy with something special and a great experience, and Crown Pizza is poised to do just that.”
Chief Operations Officer of Neches, Johnny Collazo, has worked closely with Daniels and sees great things ahead. From the newly decorated space and new equipment to the newly added software and training the staff, he says the momentum is exciting.
“We’ve worked hard to get here and now the fun really begins,” he says. “Mike’s put a lot of good things into play, people in place, and we’re ready to go.”
Aside from his food service operational know-how, Daniels is a familiar, friendly face to many in Katy. The former college football player (Lamar University Cardinals) has helped coach youth football around town for years.
“My sons played ball here and I’ve helped coach many of these young men over the years, and it’s very rewarding to see them get better and move up,” he adds. “Seeing students walk over after school and seeing their family from week to week—it’s a pure joy.”
Crown Pizza is set to open this week at Tiger Square on the corner of Highway Boulevard and FM 1463, directly across from Katy High School. Just steps away from Willy Burger, the pizzeria resumes its previous location when it was known as Crown Kitchen under its original owner. After the restaurant closed, the space served as a temporary home for Midway BBQ while they were reconstructing just blocks down the road. Midway BBQ moved out just over a month ago to their new location.
Daniels and the Neches team have kept busy the last two months building, adding, and making things new. Daniels has even done some cross-promotion, giving samples of pizzas and garlic bread sticks out at Willy Burger in the past month to a terrific response.
“We’re excited of the progress,” says Pond. “We are happy to have Mike with us to gain, grow, and drive the vision.”