Vitaro Will Accelerate the Global Pizza Chain’s Already Incredible Growth
Detroit, MI (RestaurantNews.com) Little Caesars, the global family-owned pizza chain, announced today that Jeremy Vitaro has been named Chief Development Officer. This role is responsible for new unit growth domestically and around the world, and Vitaro will drive the organization’s efforts to further capitalize on the phenomenal global opportunity of the Little Caesars brand.
Vitaro most recently served as Vice President of U.S. Development at Dunkin’ Brands where, for the past 18 years, he held various franchise leadership positions. He brings this extensive development experience to Little Caesars at a time when the chain’s revolutionary Pizza Portal® pickup and delivery options have led to a surge in brand interest among consumers and franchise prospects.
“Little Caesars is experiencing one of its largest periods of domestic and international expansion in its 60+ year history,” said David Scrivano, President and CEO of Little Caesars. “With a very attractive business model, strong brand awareness and quality products, we are thrilled for Jeremy to join our team, continue our momentum and provide new growth opportunities for entrepreneurs all over the world.”
Now in 27 countries and territories, Little Caesars most recently entered Colombia, Singapore, Peru and Chile. Later this year, new stores are set to open in Portugal, Russia and the United Kingdom.
The brand is actively seeking to grow in new markets across Europe, Southeast Asia and South America, as well as in existing markets, such as Spain, Canada, Latin America and the Philippines. Opportunities also exist in New York City, Seattle, Portland, Tampa and other U.S. markets.
Before spending nearly two decades guiding both international and U.S. growth for Dunkin’, Vitaro lived in Italy where he served companies including Casoni S.P.A. and the Benedict Group in various franchise leadership roles. Vitaro holds master’s degrees in business administration from Columbia Business School and in economic history from Stanford University.
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to join a world-renowned brand primed for continued expansion,” said Vitaro. “Little Caesars is poised to experience further exponential growth due to its affordable prices, quality products and rewarding business model. I look forward to helping guide Little Caesars towards continued success and working with entrepreneurs interested in growth opportunities.”
Interested prospects should visit Franchise.LittleCaesars.com for inquiries about opening a franchise in their area.
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 more than 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.
ATLANTA, April 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Focus Brands®, parent company of iconic brands Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Jamba®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, McAlister’s Deli® and Schlotzsky’s®, today announced Guillermo Cremer as its new chief people officer and Joe Guith as category president, Restaurant Brands.
“We are thrilled to have Guillermo and Joe at the helm of two critical areas of our organization,” said Jim Holthouser, CEO for Focus Brands. “As our company grows, we will continue to put an intense emphasis on our people and culture, while providing best-in-class service to our brand franchisees and suppliers to drive our company forward.”
Cremer brings more than 20 years of human resources experience to Focus Brands, with a special emphasis on talent development, change management, building a strong culture, and implementation of diversity, equity and inclusion strategies. He joins Focus Brands most recently from Kimberly Clark in Atlanta, where he spent seven years supporting different business units, including more recently the Professional division. In this role, he delivered strategic HR leadership, led development programs for employees and actively participated in an HR transformation to support the changing needs of the organization. While there, he also oversaw the HR function for the Latin America business unit. Guillermo has served in several HR leadership roles at General Mills and Procter & Gamble. He holds a master’s degree from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico.
Joe Guith, currently the president of McAlister’s Deli, has been promoted to category president, Restaurant Brands. Over the past six years, he has held the brand president position at McAlister’s Deli from 2018 to 2021 and Cinnabon from 2015 to 2018, with both brands seeing steady growth and expanded customer bases during his tenure. Joe’s expertise of operating restaurants, combined with his passion for growing brands, accelerating digital capabilities and developing high-performing teams, will be incredibly valuable to the Focus Brands portfolio of restaurants. During his time in the food and beverage industry, he has also served in general management and strategic roles with The Coca-Cola Company and Yum! Brands. Joe has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Michigan.
About Focus Brands
Atlanta-based Focus Brands is a leading developer of global multi-channel foodservice brands. FOCUS Brands, through its affiliate brands, is the franchisor and operator of more than 6,000 restaurants, cafes, ice cream shoppes, and bakeries in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and over 50 foreign countries under the brand names Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Jamba®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, McAlister’s Deli®, and Schlotzsky’s®, as well as Seattle’s Best Coffee® on certain military bases and in certain international markets. Please visit www.focusbrands.com to learn more.
NEW YORK, April 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — illycaffè, a global coffee industry leader in sustainable quality, announced today that Jack Edwards will join the company as President of North America, effective April 19.
Edwards is a seasoned executive who spent nearly two decades with Diageo, a leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits and beer. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President of Sales and National Accounts for The Diageo Beer Company USA, one of three divisions of Diageo’s $6B NA business, where he led a team of 115 people and a distributor network responsible for Guinness, Smirnoff Ice, and other major and emerging brands.
“Jack’s broad and deep skillset, commitment to excellence, comprehensive understanding of consumers, knowledge of the premium beverage industry, and record of leading strategic growth are ideally suited to our North American business, which is poised for expansion among coffee lovers across all channels,” said Massimiliano Pogliani, CEO of Trieste, Italy-based illycaffè. “His extensive experience, combined with his sharp leadership acumen, are aligned to successfully realize illy’s long-term plans.”
Edwards’ career at Diageo started in Chicago in finance, before moving into cross-functional positions spanning portfolio planning, marketing, and sales. He transferred to the company’s Norwalk, CT U.S. headquarters in 2005, where he managed regional sales teams and earned additional responsibilities. During this time, Jack helped launch several successful new innovations and drove significant growth on brands including Bulleit Bourbon and Ciroc Vodka, and his teams delivered best in class execution across the entire Diageo portfolio.
Edwards holds an MBA degree in Business Administration from the Kellogg Business School at Northwestern University. Prior to joining Diageo, he was an auditor at KPMG.
illycaffè announced in February it had closed a strategic investment by Rhône Capital, an important step in leading the company into its next phase of international growth, particularly in the U.S. Earlier this month, illycaffè became the first Italian coffee company to obtain B Corp status, underscoring the company’s commitment to generating a positive impact on society and the planet, and affirming its business model which is based in creating sustainable value for the long term.
illycaffè is an Italian family-owned company, founded in Trieste in 1933. Its mission has always been to offer the best coffee to the world. illycaffè produces a unique 100% Arabica blend, combining 9 of the best varieties in the world, selected by illycaffè: every day 8 million cups of illy coffee are served in over 140 countries around the globe, in the cafés, restaurants and hotels, in single-brand cafés and shops, at home. As a result of its innovations, illycaffè contributes to the coffee technology progress at global level. In 1991, the “Premio Ernesto Illy de qualidade sustentavel do cafè para espresso” was launched in Brazil for quality espresso coffee. illycaffè has contributed to the sharing of the know-how, paying growers a premium price for the best quality selected by illycaffè. Since 2016, with the “Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award”, the company has celebrated coffee growers all over the world that, according to illy, have produced the best sustainable coffee. Since 2013, the company has been in the list of the World Most Ethical Companies. In 2019, it enhanced its commitment to pursue a sustainable business model integrating the interest of people with the environment, adopting the status of Società Benefit (Benefit Company) and adding this commitment into its own bylaw. In 2021, illycaffè was the first Italian company in the coffee sector to obtain the international certification as B Corp as a result of its commitment to comply with the highest standards of social and environmental performance. The company also founded the University of Coffee, which has the objective of sharing culture at all levels, offering a comprehensive and practical training to growers, baristas and coffee lovers. Everything that is “made in illy” is about beauty and art, the founding principles of the brand, starting from its logo, designed by artist James Rosenquist, up to illy Art Collection cups, decorated by over 100 international artists. In 2019, the company had 1405 employees and a turnover of € 520,5 million. There are 269 illy single-brand shops in over 40 countries all over the world. In 2021, Rhone Capital became a shareholder of illycaffè with a minority share to support the company in its international growth.
LOS ANGELES, April 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Blaze Pizza, the nation’s leading fast casual franchise pizza concept, announced today that Brad Reynolds has joined the executive leadership team as chief financial officer. Reynolds brings to Blaze years of experience leading strategy, M&A and corporate and franchise development for national restaurant brands. In his new role with the rapidly growing fast casual franchise, Reynolds will leverage his strategic expertise to support Blaze’s significant growth trajectory.
“We are thrilled to welcome Brad to our executive leadership team in the midst of an exciting period for our brand. As we continue accelerating growth nationwide, Brad’s expertise will be an invaluable asset in identifying new opportunities to invest in strategic initiatives targeting development and restaurant profitability,” said Mandy Shaw, chief executive officer and president of Blaze Pizza. “Brad’s wide-ranging financial background and operational chops, means he offers the perfect blend of insight to add to the mix at Blaze, and I have no doubt his contributions to the brand will surpass our expectations.”
Before joining Blaze, Reynolds served as chief operating officer of C3, an innovative restaurant group focused on off-premise growth where he led all operational business units for the rapidly growing company. Additionally, Brad also spent over four years at Smashburger serving as the chief financial officer and senior vice president of franchise strategy leading strategic new store openings, IT, supply chain, licensing, brand development, and strategic mergers and acquisitions. Reynolds entered the restaurant industry after nearly eight years in investment banking.
“I couldn’t think of a better time than now to join Blaze Pizza, with the brand achieving remarkable growth over the past several years even in the face of the obstacles COVID-19 imposed on the restaurant industry. Last year, Blaze pivoted and revolutionized the concept from an operational and development standpoint in a matter of just a few weeks, and I’m thrilled to be joining the executive team responsible for such swift, decisive action,” said Reynolds. “This level of momentum coupled with corporate leadership’s commitment to innovation and evolution reinforces Blaze Pizza’s unlimited potential, and I look forward to all of the great work we’ll do together.”
With dozens of new locations under development, Blaze Pizza is in the midst of aggressive expansion. Franchise opportunities remain in markets across the U.S., including the Northeast and Texas. For more information about development opportunities with Blaze Pizza, please visit www.blazepizza.com or contact Ed Yancey at email@example.com.
About Blaze Pizza
Founded in 2011, Blaze Pizza is the nation’s leading fast-casual pizza franchise concept with more than 340 restaurants across 38 states and 6 countries. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Blaze Pizza is committed to delivering a one-of-a-kind customer experience and unparalleled high-quality products. Known for its savory artisanal pizzas and customizable made-to-order menu featuring fresh, natural ingredients free from artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners, Blaze leads the industry in menu innovation and product excellence. The rapidly-growing franchise has received numerous accolades including Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500, as well as #1 spots on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers and Shakers and Franchise Times’ Fast and Serious list. Visit blazepizza.com for additional information and stay connected @BlazePizza.