Charles Bililies is the creator and owner of Souvla. A Greek-American, Bililies comes from a family tradition of restaurateurs and is deeply passionate about the hospitality experience. Bililies began his career cooking on the East Coast at Boston’s beloved Legal Seafoods, and holds degrees in Hospitality Management from Cornell University and Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University. Bililies moved to California in 2006 to work at The French Laundry as the first Culinary Assistant to Chef Thomas Keller, where he led special projects, served as culinary liaison to all of the restaurant group’s chefs, and managed multiple capital improvements. Thereafter, he was promoted to dining room manager of Bouchon Bistro and personally developed the company’s management training program. In 2008, Charles relocated to San Francisco to work as Chef Michael Mina’s Culinary Assistant and later was tasked to help open RN74, where he was soon promoted to be the restaurant’s Assistant General Manager.
Having launched Souvla Hayes as “Chief Cook & Bottle Washer”, Charles was involved in every detail of the first store, including restaurant design, menu development, sourcing, hiring, training, daily operations, floor service, and financial reporting. Charles now leads strategic development for the restaurant group, focusing on the financial health of the business, team development, and the creation of systems that streamline operations. Charles also now serves as an advisor (both officially and unofficially) to partners in the food and tech space and regularly speaks on panels and in the press about the future of restaurants and tech, entrepreneurship and how to develop profitable restaurants.