Jay Wainwright founded Cosi in 1995. Between 1995 and 2004 he served variously as President, Chairman, CEO and Co-CEO. In 1994, Mr. Wainwright and his brother Shep discovered a small sandwich shop in Paris. Taken with everything from the food to the causally friendly nature of the place, they recognized that Cosi offered something unusual. Unknowingly, they had identified the need for the fast casual segment in the restaurant industry. In 1999, Jay led the merger of Cosi with Xando, the coffee and bar concept. When Jay left in 2004, Cosi had over a hundred company-owned units in the Northeast and Midwest.
In 2005 Jay joined Le Pain Quotidien when it had 60 units. LPQ currently has 230. Jay initially helped the largest shareholder consolidate the management team and move the corporate office from Brussels to New York. Over the last eleven years Jay has worn numerous hats. He led the international franchise expansion, managed day to operations of the 90 company-owned units in the US, managed the finance team, led technology strategy including the oversight of the company’s new App, and oversaw real estate and development in company owned-markets of London and Paris. For the entire time Jay led real estate and development in the US. His current title is Chief Development Officer.