Enrique “Rick” Silva Brings Long Track Record of Success as Former CEO and President of Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants
Prairie du Sac, WI (RestaurantNews.com) Culver Franchising System, LLC announced today the appointment of Enrique “Rick” Silva as its new CEO to lead the highly successful restaurant chain. Beginning March 29, Silva will lead the system of 792 restaurants, 496 owner-operators, 31,000 team members and the Culver’s Franchise Support Team.
Silva previously led the transformation of Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants, Inc. in his 13 years as CEO. While at the organization, he created a “family-serving-family” culture among its franchisees, support teams and restaurant teams; grew the enterprise value from $180 million to $525 million; improved unit-level operating margins by more than 300 basis points; and built a world-class franchise sales strategy and unit growth process. For the 13 years prior to Checkers & Rally’s, Silva’s category knowledge was further enhanced by leadership positions at Burger King Corporate.
“As we searched for Culver’s next leader, we were looking for several key characteristics – a true culture and values fit, the ability to support and expand the successful growth of our current and future franchisees and a drive to genuinely deliver on our Culver’s Mission: We genuinely care, so every guest who chooses Culver’s leaves happy,” said co-founder Craig Culver. “We are confident that Rick can do all three and are excited to see what he brings to further accelerate Culver’s.”
Culver’s previous CEO was Joe Koss, who retired at the end of 2020 after successfully supporting and leading this growing organization for 23 years.
For over 35 years, Culver’s guests have been treated to cooked-to-order food made with farm-fresh ingredients and served with a smile. The ever-expanding franchise system now numbers 792 family-owned and operated restaurants in 25 states. The restaurants’ nationally recognized customer service is based on small-town, Midwestern values, genuine friendliness and an unwavering commitment to quality. Signature items include the award-winning ButterBurger, made from fresh, never frozen beef, and Fresh Frozen Custard, including the famous Flavor of the Day program. For more information, visit www.culvers.com, www.culvers.com/facebook, www.twitter.com/culvers or www.instagram.com/culvers.
Vissing will lead all domestic and international operations for the global pizza brand
Detroit, MI (RestaurantNews.com) Little Caesars Pizza, the global family-owned pizza chain, announced that Paula Vissing has been named Chief Operating Officer. Vissing has been with Little Caesars since 2011 and most recently served as the Senior Vice President of International. In the newly created role, Vissing will oversee all domestic and international operations during a period of incredible growth for the world’s third largest pizza brand.
“Paula has an impressive track record within the company and has successfully led our international division for the last five years, which continues to see record-breaking results year after year,” says David Scrivano, President and CEO of Little Caesars. “I am thrilled to congratulate her on her new role as Chief Operating Officer. Paula is a highly respected and proven leader within Little Caesars and there is nobody better suited to oversee global operations.”
As the Senior Vice President of International, Vissing was responsible for all Little Caesars locations in more than two dozen countries and territories. Under her leadership, Little Caesars experienced the largest period of international growth in the company’s 60+ year history. Previously, Vissing was Vice President of Purchasing and Quality Assurance, where she led cost-saving and sourcing initiatives that supported Little Caesars’ growth in the U.S. Vissing has also led global supply chain expansion, enabling international development efforts across the globe.
“It is an exciting time for the company as we continue to experience exponential growth both in the U.S. and internationally, and I am honored to have the opportunity to oversee the global operations of Little Caesars,” says Vissing. “I look forward to continuing to work along with the Little Caesars leadership team, and organization as a whole, as we continue to bring great tasting, affordable pizza to families around the world.”
Vissing has more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry providing strategic leadership for national brands. A Kentucky native, Vissing received a B.S. in economics from the University of Louisville and an M.B.A. from the University of Kentucky.
About Little Caesars®
Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Little Caesars was founded by Mike and Marian Ilitch in 1959 as a single, family-owned restaurant. Today, Little Caesars is the third largest pizza chain in the world, with stores in each of the 50 U.S. states and 27 countries and territories.
Little Caesars recently introduced contactless options for both delivery and carry-out through the Little Caesars app. Pizzas are baked in 475-degree ovens to ensure food safety and never touched after baking. The chain has also reinforced cleanliness and sanitization procedures, increasing the frequency of cleaning commonly touched surfaces including door handles, glass, countertops, Pizza Portal surfaces, phones, and cash registers.
Known for its HOT-N-READY® pizza and famed Crazy Bread®, Little Caesars has been named “Best Value in America” for the past 14 years (based on nationwide survey of national quick service restaurant customers conducted by Sandelman & Associates – 2007-2020 entitled “Highest Rated Chain – Value for the Money”). Little Caesars products are made with quality ingredients, like fresh, never frozen, mozzarella and Muenster cheese and sauce made from fresh-packed, vine-ripened California crushed tomatoes.
An exceptionally high growth company with 60 years of experience in the $145 billion worldwide pizza industry, Little Caesars is continually looking for franchisee candidates to join our team in markets around the world. In addition to providing the opportunity for entrepreneurial independence in a franchise system, Little Caesars offers strong brand awareness with one of the most recognized and appealing characters in the country, Little Caesar.
BurgerFi Appoints Former Burger King, Panera Bread, Papa Gino’s Executive to lead company’s operations
Palm Beach, FL (RestaurantNews.com) BurgerFi International Inc. (Nasdaq: BFI, BFIIW), one of the nation’s fastest-growing premium fast-casual concepts and QSR’s 2020 Breakout Brand of the Year known for its better burgers, has hired QSR-industry veteran Jim Esposito to be Chief Operating Officer. Esposito is recognized as an influential leader in the restaurant industry with over 20 years of experience and a successful track record of delivering best-in-class results for public and private growth companies. He is an exceptional operational executive that has led teams of over 7,500 employees with a business-centric and strategic vision. Esposito’s QSR experience includes positions at Burger King Corporation, a Restaurant Brands International Inc. (NYSE: QSR) subsidiary, Panera Bread Company and Papa Gino’s Inc.
“Jim Esposito built his career around successfully managing people and processes for high-quality organizations in very competitive and fast-paced environments, and has achieved tremendous success,” said Ophir Sternberg, Executive Chairman of BurgerFi. “Esposito’s industry experience and positive track record with food-centric and publicly traded companies made him an exceptional candidate as COO.”
Most recently as Senior Vice President of Operations for Planet Fitness (NYSE: PLNT) Esposito grew market share and revenue streams by ensuring the effective management of 105 company-owned locations globally. He drove revenue up by 15.2% to $159.7 million and EBITDA up by 15.7% to $65.6 million in 2019. In his role he coached, trained, and mentored a team of 1,400 employees through leading and influencing, improving employee satisfaction, and dramatically reducing turnover. He spearheaded leadership of global operations; transformed $60 million dollars in annual real estate development, optimized $150 million dollars in revenue and ignited $80 million dollars in bottom-line profits.
“Jim Esposito has a strong record of delivering rapid business results while positioning franchised and corporate-owned businesses to greater levels of profitability and operational efficiencies,” said Julio Ramirez, CEO of BurgerFi. “He is a dynamic change agent able to lead and manage change using innovative, out-of-the-box approaches and I am honored to have him as part of the BurgerFi family.”
Prior to joining Planet Fitness, Esposito worked for Panera Bread, where he collaborated with a cross-functional team to drive business results, improve drive-thru process efficiencies and introduce Panera 2.0, an integrated experience that meets the differentiated needs of to-go, dine-in, and large order delivery customers through new mechanisms for ordering, payment processing, and consumer consumption.
“BurgerFi is leading the way in the ‘better burger’ segment. I am committed to building upon BurgerFi’s dedicated employee base, great operations, and superior products to consistently deliver the best burger and overall exceptional guest experience at every franchise and company-owned restaurant, which will further fuel the 30% projected growth for 2021,” said Jim Esposito, newly appointed COO of BurgerFi. “This is a brand that is built on quality at every touch point – the people, the food, the restaurants, and the best-in-class omnichannel technology platforms. I am looking forward to working with the leadership team to continue BurgerFi’s acceleration as a public company.”
Previously, Esposito held the position of Chief Operating Officer at Papa Gino’s which included two brands, Papa Gino’s Pizzeria and D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches, where he was directly responsible for creating an environment that delivered exceptional operations, sales growth, and increased profitability for 336 restaurants and over 25 licensees which resulted in annual sales of $250 million.
Esposito spent over a decade at Burger King Corporation, where he held a number of key operations positions such as running the Atlanta and Boston company markets and directing strategic and tactical leadership for field operations. In his last role as Senior Director of Global Restaurant Systems and Development, he provided restaurant technology support to over 1,400 restaurants in 10 countries around the world.
About BurgerFi International (Nasdaq: BFI, BFIIW)
Established in 2011, BurgerFi is among the nation’s fastest-growing better burger concepts with approximately 125 BurgerFi restaurants domestically and internationally. The concept is chef-founded and is committed to serving fresh food of transparent quality. BurgerFi uses 100% American angus beef with no steroids, antibiotics, growth hormones, chemicals or additives. BurgerFi’s menu also includes high quality wagyu beef, antibiotic and cage-free chicken offerings, fresh, hand-cut sides and custard shakes and concretes. BurgerFi was named QSR Magazine’s Breakout Brand of 2020, placed in the top 10 on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers & Shakers list in 2020, was named “Best Burger Joint” by Consumer Reports and fellow public interest organizations in the 2019 Chain Reaction Study, listed as a “Top Restaurant Brand to Watch” by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2019, included in Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies List, and ranked on Entrepreneur’s 2017 Franchise 500. To learn more about BurgerFi or to find a full list of locations, please visit www.burgerfi.com. Download the BurgerFi App on iOS or Android devices for rewards and ‘Like’ BurgerFi on Facebook or follow @BurgerFi on Instagram and Twitter.
BurgerFi® is a Registered Trademark of BurgerFi IP, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BurgerFi.
Hospitality Industry Veteran to Drive IHOP’s Marketing and Culinary Strategies
Glendale, CA (RestaurantNews.com) IHOP® today announced the newest member of its executive team, naming Kieran Donahue to the position of Chief Marketing Officer. In this role, Donahue will be responsible for driving IHOP’s marketing and culinary strategies, including oversight of advertising, digital innovation, communications, menu development and overall brand experience. Beginning February 22, Donahue will report directly to IHOP President Jay Johns.
“Kieran is an innovator and a transformational Fortune 500 executive who has a long track record of demonstrated performance across a diverse set of global brands,” said Johns. “Given her impressive professional history surpassing business goals, building trusted relationships and empowering teams, I have no doubt that she will play an integral role in further building guest trust and leading IHOP to its next phase of growth.”
Donahue brings more than 20 years of marketing experience within the hospitality industry, serving in a number of domestic and international marketing roles for Hilton Enterprise and Marriott International. Most recently, she held the position of Vice President, Brand, Marketing and Digital, Americas for Marriott. In that role, she was the architect of a shared service field marketing organization and led the transformation of demand/lead generation programs.
Earlier in her career, Donahue held key leadership positions as Vice President, Americas Marketing for Hilton Enterprises; Vice President of Global Brand Marketing for DoubleTree by Hilton; and Senior Director, Global Brand Marketing for Hilton Hotels and Resorts. Prior to joining Hilton in 2001, she held sales, marketing and public relations roles both in New York and Los Angeles.
“IHOP is a brand that I have long admired, and I am thrilled to be the newest member of the IHOP family, and to help lead this iconic restaurant chain,” said Donahue. “IHOP’s Marketing, Digital, Communications and Culinary Team is made up of a remarkable group of talented individuals, and I’m looking forward to partnering closely with them to execute meaningful programs that reinforce our position as a category leader.”
About International House of Pancakes, LLC
For over 62 years, IHOP has been a leader, innovator and expert in all things breakfast, any time of day. The chain offers 65 different signature, fresh, made-to-order breakfast options, a wide selection of popular lunch and dinner items, including Ultimate Steakburgers. IHOP restaurants offer guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service. As of July 29, 2020, there are 1,841 IHOP restaurants around the world, including restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam as well as Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Lebanon, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Thailand and India. IHOP restaurants are franchised by affiliates of Glendale, Calif.-based Dine Brands Global, Inc. (NYSE: DIN).
MILFORD, Conn., Feb. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Subway® restaurants have announced Steve Rafferty as Senior Vice President of Development for North America.
In this role, Rafferty is responsible for leading the strategic direction for business development, supporting the network of Subway developers and leading growth initiatives for new and existing franchisees.
“Steve has the deep experience to successfully lead teams to achieve new franchise recruitment, unit growth, and new market entry goals. His wealth of knowledge, along with his focus on franchisee profitability, make him an ideal leader for Team Subway,” said Trevor Haynes, President, Subway, North America.
Rafferty has more than 35 years in franchise business development. He successfully led growth and optimization strategies at Yum Brands, Burger King, and PepsiCo. He joins Subway from Dunkin Brands, where he served as Senior Director of U.S. Business Development.
About Subway ® Restaurants
The Subway restaurant chain continues to evolve the dining experience, offering guests in more than 100 countries quality ingredients, as well as robust flavor combinations while serving over 6 million made-to-order sandwiches created each day. All Subway restaurants are owned and operated by more than 20,000 Franchise Owners, who employ many people in their communities. The Subway experience is also delivered online at Subway.com, through Subway.com/Delivers, and the Subway® App.
Brand Co-Founder and Restaurateur will Oversee Operations and Continued Growth
West Palm Beach, FL (RestaurantNews.com) The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill, a member of the United Franchise Group (UFG) and an award winning, rapidly expanding Mediterranean fast-casual concept, has announced the brand will enhance its leadership team with the appointment of a new Brand President, Nick A. Della Penna, who is also co-founder of the brand.
UFG began franchising The Great Greek in 2018 after partnering with co-founders Nick A. Della Penna and Trent Jones. Della Penna is a third-generation restaurateur with 36 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including the role of vice president of Food and Beverage at the Excalibur® Hotel and Casino, while Jones has many years of experience as a real estate and small business entrepreneur. Together, they purchased the first The Great Greek in Henderson, NV in 2011. During their first year of operation, gross revenue rose by 18 percent. Based on that success, Della Penna and Jones opened a second restaurant in the southwest area of Las Vegas in 2017. Today, the co-founders own four locations in Nevada and one in Florida with four more under development.
“The Great Greek became an instant hit in Nevada and that trend has continued since franchising the concept,” said Della Penna. “Being co-founder of the brand gives me the unique experience of understanding exactly what franchisees need to do to open, operate, and ultimately be successful.”
The award-winning, chef-inspired menu at The Great Greek features homegrown recipes and big, bold flavors like the fan favorite traditional Gyro (Yee-Ro). In addition, guests crave the four signature house-made dips – Hummus, Tzatziki, Melitzanosalata and Tirokafteri (spicy roasted red pepper) – as well as our made to order Fresh Feta Fries. Guests can also indulge in must-have desserts like Baklava Ice Cream or Rice Pudding. The Great Greek offers a wide variety of customizable options for guests to enjoy, including a classic Greek Salad with a choice of Salmon, Shrimp, or several other proteins. Everything is prepared in-house with fresh ingredients that bring traditional flavors from recipes passed down generation after generation.
“The incremental growth of the brand is a true indicator of our success and we look forward to Nick leading the brand to continued growth both domestically and internationally,” said A.J. Titus, President of UFG.
Currently, The Great Greek has 113 franchise locations either open or in development domestically and internationally. According to Della Penna, that success is attributed to three factors: The highest quality ingredients, fresh products that are prepared every day, and every team member is devoted to providing outstanding hospitality. “We want you to live your life deliciously,” added Della Penna.
The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill is seeking single-unit or multi-unit developers. The brand’s initial franchise fee is $39,500 with a total investment cost ranging $476,050 – $798,250. For more information about The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill, visit TheGreatGreekGrillFranchise.com.
About The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill
The award-winning Great Greek Mediterranean Grill was co-founded in 2011 by two third-generation culinary trained restaurateurs with more than 30 years of experience in the food and hospitality business, Nick A. Della Penna and Trent Jones, who purchased The Great Greek’s first location in Henderson, Nevada. After successfully opening two additional Las Vegas locations, Della Penna and Jones started franchising the concept with United Franchise Group and have seen ongoing success. United Franchise Group is comprised of ten affiliated companies and brands with more than 1,600 franchisees in more than 80 countries.
This advertisement is not an offer to sell a franchise. Any offer to sell this franchise will be made by a Franchise Disclosure Document and only following registration by Great Greek Grill in any state requiring registration prior to sale.
In New York: This advertisement is not an offering. An offering can only be made by prospectus filed first with the Department of Law of the State of New York. Such filing does not constitute approval by the Department of Law.
In California: These franchises have been registered under franchise investment law of the State of California. Such registration does not constitute approval, recommendation or endorsement by the Commissioner of business oversight nor a finding by the commissioner that the information provided herein is true, complete and not misleading.