Coolgreens Announces Amanda Powell as Director of Operations and Training
Oklahoma-Based Healthy Lifestyle Eatery Brings on New Executive to Implement Local Market Training and Operational Excellence
October 16, 2018–(Restaurant News)
Coolgreens, the healthy lifestyle eatery committed to providing the highest quality, fresh and natural dining experience, is excited to announce the addition of Amanda Powell to its ever-growing team. This news is coming off of the recent announcement of the brand’s new Vice President of Operations, Todd Madlener and building on this operations-focused momentum, Coolgreens brought on Powell as the new Director of Operations and Training to ensure all franchisees are able to open and operate smoothly in their local markets.
Powell attended Kansas State University and studied hotel restaurant management. She has been in the restaurant industry for more than twenty years, most notably with Red Lobster as the Regional Training Manager and General Manager at the location in Abilene, Texas. Under her leadership, Powell was able to help propel the restaurant from #93 in the system to #8. From Red Lobster, Powell moved to other fast casual concepts like SPIN! Pizza out of Kansas City, Missouri, where she developed a training program and opened restaurants in Orange County, California, and then to Modern Market based in Denver, Colorado where she developed a team in Dallas, Texas and ran six restaurants. When an opportunity with Coolgreens was presented, Powell knew it was the perfect fit.
“Developing operations and training processes to ensure restaurants are on the same page, being consistent and have a solid structure is what I love to do and is exactly what Coolgreens was looking for in someone to fit this role,” said Powell. “There’s such a unique opportunity with Coolgreens to get in with a brand at the ground-level and be a part of its growth from the beginning.”
Coolgreens was founded in 2009 when Oklahoma City based attorney Tom Wolfe was training for a marathon and began searching for restaurants serving healthier but still delicious options in his hometown. Recognizing an opportunity to turn those options into a healthy down-the-line concept, Wolfe contacted several local restaurateurs and the concept of Coolgreens was born. Soon after the brand was introduced to the market, now CEO Robert Lee noticed the unique offering because of his own dietary restrictions. At most restaurants in the market dining out had proven to be impossible – but not at Coolgreens, which offered a down-the-line option with fresh and natural foods. After his initial introduction to the brand in 2009, Lee quickly became involved in building it to the next level, taking over as CEO in 2014. Lee worked to highlight the brand’s positive qualities as it grew quickly across the Oklahoma City metro area, doubling unit numbers from 2012 to 2014. In 2017, Lee launched a franchise offering to give food-centric entrepreneurs the opportunity to bring the health-centric restaurant to markets across the nation, led by a simple and proven model.
“We have mastered simple operations that puts our natural ingredients on the forefront,” said Lee. “Franchisees don’t need extensive restaurant experience in order to replicate the success that we have seen in Oklahoma City. They just have to follow the same mission and model that surrounds the idea of fueling their local community with fresh and natural food.”
With Powell on board, the Coolgreens leadership team is excited to support new and existing franchisees as they look to open the first franchised locations across the nation. From training to operations, signing to opening, franchisees will be supported every step of the way to ensure success in their investment.
“As we lay the groundwork for years ahead, it is so important to make sure we have the right leadership and support backing our franchisees as they enter our emerging system,” said Lee. “We know Amanda will be a great addition to our team and she will help our franchisees grow and succeed in markets across the country. By staying true to our roots and commitment to our unique offering, we have an incredible opportunity and look forward to what the rest of the year has in store for us.”
Coolgreens, a down-the-line fresh, naturally sourced food concept, offers build-your own salads, wraps, bowls, flatbreads, and more all through a chef-curated menu. The menu highlights limitless combinations of fresh lettuce, vegetables sliced fresh in-store each day, house-made toppings, dressings made from scratch, and options for all dietary needs, including gluten free, carb free, and low fat. Founded in 2009 in Oklahoma City, the brand quickly grew to seven corporate-owned locations, before launching its first franchise offering in mid-2017. For more information please visit http://www.coolgreens.com.
No Limit Agency
View source version on Restaurant News: http://www.restaurantnews.com/coolgreens-announces-amanda-powell-as-director-of-operations-and-training-101618/
Randall Lawrence Named as New Vice President of Supply for Church’s Chicken®
Experienced Executive Has In Excess of 30 Years’ Experience in Food-Beverage Industry
October 15, 2018–(PR Newswire)
Joseph D. Christina, CEO of Church’s Chicken®, announced today the hiring of Randall Lawrence, as the Vice President of Supply Chain. An accomplished supply chain and operations executive with more than 30 years of experience in the Food and Beverage industry, Lawrence will report directly to Christina. Prior to accepting the position at Church’s, Lawrence served in a similar capacity for Bojangles Restaurants Inc., where he was responsible for end-to-end supply chain operations, including quality assurance, planning, procurement, and distribution for more than 750 company-owned and franchised restaurants in the US.
“Randall is an enthusiastic problem-solver, with the ability to create and execute action plans and strives for better and more efficient ways of doing business globally,” said Christina. “He’s an effective communicator and team builder, who displays excellent skills in operations, strategic planning and analysis, and business expansion. We are thrilled to have him on the Church’s team.”
Lawrence earned his MBA in Business Administration from Berry College, and is a member of the American Production & Inventory Control Society. During his career he has served as VP Supply Chain, Bojangles, Charlotte, NC; VP QCC Operations-North America, Papa John’s Inc., Louisville, KY; VP Global Contract Manufacturing, Starbucks Coffee Company, Seattle, WA; Plant Manager, ConAgra Foods, Indianapolis, IN; and Plant Manager, Sara Lee (formerly Earthgrains), Chicago IL.
“This is an exceptional opportunity with a wonderful company that has set the standard in the fast-food service industry,” said Lawrence. “My experience in growth planning, business expansion, strategic development, global sourcing, and franchisee relationships will help the Church’s and Texas Chicken® brands continue to expand their footprints not only domestically, but throughout the world.”
About Texas Chicken / Church’s Chicken®
Founded in San Antonio, TX in 1952 by George W. Church, Church’s Chicken, along with its sister brand Texas Chicken outside of the Americas, is one of the largest quick service chicken restaurant chains in the world. The brands specialize in Original and Spicy Chicken freshly prepared throughout the day in small batches that are hand-battered and double-breaded, Tender Strips®, sandwiches, honey-butter biscuits made from scratch and freshly baked, and classic, home-style sides all for a great value. Church’s Chicken and Texas Chicken have more than 1,500 locations in 23 countries and global markets and system-wide sales of more than $1 billion. For more information, visit www.churchs.com. Follow Church’s on Facebook at www.facebook.com/churchschicken and Twitter at www.twitter.com/churchschicken.
View source version on PR Newswire: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/randall-lawrence-named-as-new-vice-president-of-supply-for-churchs-chicken-300731014.html
Papa John’s Announces New Organizational Structure and Executive Promotions and Appointments
New Structure Designed to Improve Customer Experience and Drive Growth
Mike Nettles Appointed Executive Vice President, Chief Operating & Growth Officer
October 12, 2018–(Business Wire)
Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) today announced a new organizational structure consistent with the strategy laid out earlier this year to improve the experience that customers have with Papa John’s and accelerate growth. As part of the changes, the Company has established dedicated roles and responsibilities around each consumer touch point and has consolidated the line of reporting for these roles under a new Executive Vice President, Chief Operating and Growth Officer position, which will be held by Mike Nettles. Mr. Nettles was most recently Senior Vice President, Chief Information and Digital Officer.
Steve Ritchie, President and CEO of Papa John’s, said, “Improving how we engage with our customers is core to the new operating priorities announced earlier this year. By aligning our leadership structure around the customer experience, our team’s diverse talents will be leveraged to drive enterprise-wide change and pioneer new innovations that accelerate the Company’s growth. Since joining last year, Mike has significantly elevated the consumer experience across our digital and mobile platforms. His promotion and the other appointments announced today reflect the strong contributions these executives have made to Papa John’s and our belief that, in their new roles, they can propel our success even further.”
Mr. Nettles has more than 28 years of restaurant industry and technology experience. He joined Papa John’s in 2017 as Senior Vice President, Chief Information and Digital Officer. During his time at Papa John’s, Mr. Nettles has developed a multi-year, customer-centric strategy to transform Papa John’s technology into an industry-leading platform. Under his leadership, Papa John’s mobile apps have become highly rated in both app stores (4.7 on iOS and 4.4 on Android), the Company has established new ordering partnerships, including Facebook Instant Ordering, Amazon Alexa, and DoorDash, and Papa John’s has established key data and analytics capabilities to improve store operations and better inform customer engagement.
As part of the new organizational structure, Papa John’s announced the following executive appointments, all of which will report to Mr. Nettles. The changes are effective immediately:
- Justin Falciola has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Chief Analytics and Technology Officer. Mr. Falciola most recently served as Vice President, Global Enterprise Architecture.
- Anne Fischer has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Customer Experience. Ms. Fischer most recently served as Vice President, Product Management.
- Paul Fabre has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Menu Strategy and Innovation. Mr. Fabre most recently served as Vice President, R&D and Quality Assurance.
- Melissa Richards-Person has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Chief Brand Officer. Ms. Richards-Person most recently served as Vice President, Global Brand Strategy and Consumer Connections.
Additional Information About Mike Nettles
Prior to Papa John’s, Mr. Nettles served as Vice President of Enterprise Architecture and IT Strategy at Panera Bread Company. Previously, he served as the Chief Technology Officer at DiningIn Inc. He also held positions with Torex and Brinker International and was the Co-Founder of eMac Digital/Savista and the Founder and Principal of Red Chair Ventures LLC.
About Papa John’s
Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world’s third-largest pizza delivery company. In 2018, consumers rated Papa John’s No. 1 in product and service quality among national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). For 17 of the past 19 years, consumers have rated Papa John’s No. 1 in customer satisfaction among national pizza chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John’s at www.papajohns.com.
Certain matters discussed in this press release and other company communications constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Generally, the use of words such as “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “will,” “forecast,” “plan,” “project,” or similar words identify forward-looking statements that we intend to be included within the safe harbor protections provided by the federal securities laws. Such forward-looking statements may relate to projections or guidance concerning business performance, revenue, earnings, cash flow, sales growth, profit margins, unit growth, unit level performance, management decisions and actions, changes to our current business plan, management performance, and improvements to our digital technology and the customer experience. Such statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those matters expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Our risk factors are discussed in detail in “Part I. Item 1A. – Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, as updated by “Part II. Item 1A. – Risk Factors” in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended July 1, 2018. We undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of future events, new information or otherwise, except as required by law.
Papa John’s International, Inc.
Joe Smith, 502-261-7272
Chief Financial Officer
Madeline Chadwick, 502-261-4189
View source version on Business Wire: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181012005458/en/Papa-John%E2%80%99s-Announces-New-Organizational-Structure-Executive
Noodles & Company Announces Senior Management Additions
Ken Kuick Named Chief Financial Officer
Melissa Heidman Promoted to Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
October 12, 2018–(Globe Newswire)
Noodles & Company (NASDAQ: NDLS) today announced that Ken Kuick has been named the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, effective November 12, 2018. The Company also announced the recent promotion of Melissa M. Heidman to the role of Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary.
“We have strengthened our executive team with the addition of two new leaders,” stated Dave Boennighausen, Chief Executive Officer of Noodles & Company. “I’m pleased to welcome Ken Kuick to our team as Chief Financial Officer. Ken brings extensive leadership experience and expertise in accounting and finance functions from a diverse group of successful businesses, and he will be instrumental in developing our financial roadmap over the next several years. Additionally, Melissa Heidman was recently promoted to Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, after serving as our Associate General Counsel since August of 2011. Melissa has long been a tremendous asset to our company and I look forward to working with her more closely in the future. We now have a complete and solid leadership team that is focused on building upon our recent momentum and carrying the Noodles & Company brand to its vast potential.”
Ken Kuick brings over 25 years of finance and accounting leadership to Noodles & Company. Most recently, he was Chief Accounting Officer for VICI Properties, a real estate investment trust that was spun out of Caesars Entertainment Corporation. Mr. Kuick also served as Chief Accounting Officer for Caesars Entertainment from 2014 to 2017, playing a key leadership role in the Company’s emergence from bankruptcy, and as Vice-President, Assistant Controller beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he served a dual role as Chief Financial Officer for Transamerica Investment Management and Controller for Aegon USA Investment Management under Aegon N.V. He has also held leadership roles at Calamos Asset Management and Alberto-Culver Company. Mr. Kuick began his career at Arthur Andersen. He holds a Bachelor of Science, Accounting and Business Systems from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Melissa M. Heidman was promoted to the role of Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary in June 2018. Prior to that, she served at Noodles & Company as Vice President, Acting General Counsel and Secretary from December of 2017 until June 2018, as Vice President and Associate General Counsel from 2015 until 2017, and as Associate General Counsel from 2011 to 2015. Prior to joining Noodles & Company, Ms. Heidman was Special Counsel in the law firm of Berg Hill Greenleaf & Ruscitti. She began her career serving as a Law Clerk for the District Court of Iowa, the Iowa Supreme Court and, later, as Law Clerk and Staff Attorney for the Superior Court of Guam. Ms. Heidman received a BA in Political Science from the University of Iowa and received a J.D. from Drake University Law School.
About Noodles & Company
Since 1995, Noodles & Company has been serving noodles your way, from noodles and flavors that you know and love, to new ones you’re about to discover for the first time. From indulgent Wisconsin Mac & Cheese to good-for-you Zoodles, Noodles serves a world of flavor in every bowl. Made up of more than 450 restaurants and 10,000 passionate team members, Noodles is dedicated to nourishing and inspiring every guest who walks through the door. To learn more or find the location nearest you, visit www.noodles.com.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks and uncertainties. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “might,” “will,” “objective,” “intend,” “should,” “could,” “can,” “would,” “expect,” “believe,” “design,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “plan” or the negative of these terms, and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect the Company’s current views with respect to future events and are based on currently available operating, financial and competitive information. Examples of forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts, such as statements regarding the Company’s future financial performance in light of management changes. The Company’s actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements due to reasons including, but not limited to those discussed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 2, 2018. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performances or achievements expressed or implied by the statements. Also, the forward-looking statements contained herein represent the Company’s estimates and assumptions only as of the date hereof. Unless required by United States federal securities laws, the Company does not intend to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the statement is made.
View source version on Globe Newswire: https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/10/12/1620538/0/en/Noodles-Company-Announces-Senior-Management-Additions.html
Vipul Chawla Promoted to President of Pizza Hut International
October 11, 2018–(Business Wire)
Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) today announced the promotion of Vipul Chawla, 50, to President of Pizza Hut International, reporting to Yum! Brands Chief Executive Officer Greg Creed, effective December 3, 2018. Chawla, who currently serves as Managing Director of Pizza Hut Asia-Pacific, will assume responsibility for driving the brand strategy and performance of Pizza Hut’s international business outside the U.S.
Pizza Hut is the world’s largest pizza restaurant company with more than $12 billion in global system sales and nearly 17,000 restaurants in over 100 countries and territories as of year-end 2017. General managers of Pizza Hut around the world (excluding the U.S.) as well as leaders of Pizza Hut International’s global functions will report to Chawla effective December 3. Pizza Hut U.S. is led by Artie Starrs, President, reporting to Creed.
“Vipul Chawla is an extraordinarily talented leader and highly respected global marketer with a proven track record of growing Pizza Hut across the Asia-Pacific region with our franchise partners,” said Creed. “He’s the ideal person to take Pizza Hut International to the next level by ensuring that each market has strong operations and digital execution in place, offers compelling value and consistently communicates the brand positioning. I’m confident Vipul and his team are well positioned for a seamless transition and will continue to build on the strengths of Pizza Hut with our franchisees.” Chawla will succeed Milind Pant, who has served as Pizza Hut International President for the past three years and has made the personal decision to step down from his role at the end of November to pursue other opportunities outside the Company.
Chawla is an international restaurant and retail industry veteran who has been with the Company for more than seven years. As Managing Director of Pizza Hut Asia-Pacific, Chawla has led Pizza Hut’s largest business outside the U.S. in terms of units, spanning nearly 5,000 franchise restaurants across 16 markets. He previously served as General Manager of Pizza Hut Asia as well as Chief Marketing Officer of KFC Asia where he elevated KFC’s brand positioning and accelerated its growth across the region. Chawla joined Yum! in 2011 after spending 20 years with Unilever serving in various leadership positions.
Creed added, “I want to thank Milind Pant for his strong leadership, passion and contributions to Pizza Hut and Yum! Brands over the past decade and wish him continued success on his future endeavors. As we look ahead, I’m confident Pizza Hut International has a bright future as the Brand continues to focus its innovation, technology investments and franchise partnerships on delivering the easiest, fastest and tastiest pizza experience to its customers globally.”
About Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), has more restaurant locations in the world than any other pizza company. Founded in 1958 in Wichita, Kan., Pizza Hut operates nearly 17,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. For more information, https://www.pizzahut.com/.
About Yum! Brands
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 45,000 restaurants in more than 140 countries and territories and is one of the Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders in North America. In 2018, Yum! Brands was recognized as part of the inaugural Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index and ranked among the top 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. The company’s restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – are global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Worldwide, the Yum! Brands system opens over seven new restaurants per day on average, making it a leader in global retail development.
Yum! Brands, Inc.
Analysts are invited to contact:
Keith Siegner, 888-298-6986
Vice President, Investor Relations, Corporate Strategy and Treasurer
Kelly Knybel, 888-298-6986
Director, Investor Relations
Members of the media are invited to contact:
Virginia Ferguson, 502-874-8200
Director, Public Relations
View source version on Business Wire: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181011005430/en/Vipul-Chawla-Promoted-President-Pizza-Hut-International
Roy Rogers® Names Al Jones Director Of Operations
Veteran with More Than 25 Years in QSR Operations Will Lead Efforts to Elevate The Legacy Brand and Build Loyalty Among New Generations of Diners
October 9, 2018–(Franchising.com)
Roy Rogers® Restaurants announced today that it has promoted Al Jones to the position of Director of Operations. Reporting to Executive Vice President Jeremy Biser, he will oversee the development and improvement of companywide operational standards and lead a team of franchise business consultants and district managers in ensuring their consistent implementation. He is based in the company’s Frederick, Md., headquarters.
Jones joined Roy Rogers in 1984 as an Assistant Manager at the Valley Mall restaurant in Hagerstown, Md., after having worked for five years for Marriott Corp., the chain’s parent at the time. In short order he was promoted to General Manager and Training Store Manager, then took on the role of District Manager in 1992. In 2003, he was named Franchise Business Consultant and began working closely with operators to help them build new stores and maximize business results. He has been serving as interim Director of Operations since earlier this year following a corporate restructuring that included bringing Biser on board as Executive Vice President.
“I’m extremely proud to promote Al to the position of Director of Operations,” said Biser. “He has a fantastic history of working with the Roy Rogers brand, and the wealth of experience that he has acquired over nearly four decades is incredibly valuable. I’m excited to have him take on this important leadership role that will give him the opportunity to put that experience to even greater use in our organization.”
In his newly expanded role, Jones will identify and pursue opportunities to improve Roy Rogers’ overall business results, work environment, guest experience and operating standards. He will also work to improve training processes, tools and resources, promote a “food safety first” culture, and have direct profit and loss responsibility for company-operated and franchise units.
“I’m thrilled and honored to be taking on more responsibility here,” said Jones. “In particular, I look forward to having closer connections with our store operations teams, and to making the brand more profitable. As owners of two dozen company-operated restaurants, we have a big stake in making sure our operating standards result in strong sales throughout the system, and I look forward to working with our corporate team and franchisees to maximize performance of every location.”
Describing Jones’ promotion as part of a broader initiative to strengthen Roy Rogers’ performance and growth potential, Biser said, “The ongoing investments we are making this year will provide better support and leadership for the Roy Rogers brand. I’m confident these and other planned upgrades will better position us for system growth and increased sales and profitability for existing units.”
Now celebrating its 50th anniversary with a yearlong campaign featuring baseball great Cal Ripken Jr. and a variety of thematic pricing and product promotions and special events, Roy Rogers has recently announced several major developments revealing its investment in improving both infrastructure and consumer offering. Chief among these have been the appointments of Biser as Executive Vice President and Mark Jenkins as Senior Director of Marketing, the extension of its name-brand-ingredient strategy via the rollout of a new Spicy Chicken sandwich featuring Texas Pete hot sauce, and news that the chain would be returning to New York’s Long Island through a seven-unit franchise development agreement.
Roy Rogers is now seeking qualified franchise investors to bring its beloved brand to select additional markets.
About Roy Rogers® Restaurants
Based in Frederick, Md., Roy Rogers® is a chain of western-themed quick-service restaurants offering broad appeal across multiple dayparts and generations. The company is famous for serving up a “Triple Threat” – three popular main dishes including USDA choice top round roast beef, hand-breaded, fresh fried chicken and great-tasting burgers. Roy Rogers is also known for its famous Fixin’s Bar®, where guests can customize their orders with a variety of fresh produce, condiments signature sauces. Information on the company, its menu and current promotions is available at www.royrogersrestaurants.com and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Roy Rogers Restaurants was founded in 1968, and currently consists of 24 company-owned restaurants and 29 franchise restaurants in six states. Franchise opportunities are now available in select markets to qualified candidates.
GRiP Communications LLC
Roy Rogers® Restaurants
(301) 695-5051, Ext. 121
View source version on Franching.com: https://www.franchising.com/news/20181009_roy_rogersreg_names_al_jones_director_of_operation.html
Shake Shack Adds Culinary Innovation Role
John Karangis, the Union Square Hospitality Group’s executive catering chef, will assume the new post.
October 9, 2018–(Restaurant Business Online)
Expect to see more new menu items at Shake Shack.
The fast-growing fast-casual burger chain has added a new job post: head of culinary innovation.
John Karangis, previously the executive chef for the catering arm of Union Square Hospitality Group, becomes Shake Shack’s executive chef and vice president of culinary innovation, the company announced Tuesday. Founded in 2004, Shake Shack was originally part of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. It became a public company in 2015.
Last month, Shake Shack opened a test kitchen in New York City. It became the first of the chain’s units to roll out bite-sized breaded chicken pieces made from antibiotic-free poultry and cooked via sous vide.
“Shake Shack is more committed than ever to growth, evolution and culinary excellence,” CEO Randy Garutti said in a statement. “With the recent addition of our innovation kitchen, we are acutely focused on further developing a thoughtful and exciting menu for our guests.”
Karangis officially assumes the role on Oct. 29, the company said.
View source version on Restaurant Business Online: https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/leadership/shake-shack-adds-culinary-innovation-role
National Jack in the Box Franchisee Association Calls for Jack in the Box Inc. CEO Leonard A. Comma to Step Down Following a Vote of No Confidence
Association Engages Representation from Venerable Franchisee Attorney Robert Zarco, Esq.
October 9, 2018–(Business Wire)
The National Jack in the Box Franchisee Association today announced it has called for the current Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ: JACK) CEO, Leonard A. Comma (Lenny), to step down and relinquish his position as CEO, and for the board of directors to replace the current leadership team. This call is the aftermath of a majority vote of ‘No Confidence’ from the association’s members at its annual meeting held in July.
The membership of the National Jack in the Box Franchisee Association is comprised of 95 franchisees representing the ownership of approximately 2,000 restaurants out of a system-wide total of approximately 2,240 restaurants.
“The vote of ‘No Confidence’ is the culmination of years of long-ranging discussions and unanswered concerns brought directly to Jack in the Box CEO Lenny Comma,” said Michael Norwich, NFA Board Chairman. “We have reached out in every possible manner to communicate our concerns to the leadership and the current board of directors by offering meetings, conducting our own surveys of the franchise system, and proposing various solutions to the issues facing our system.”
Norwich continued, “Following an extended period of time that was characterized by a lack of effective reaction by Jack in the Box leadership to remedy our expressed concerns which include among other things, a severe lack of corporate resources being devoted to providing service, support, assistance and marketing to the franchisee community and which have caused an unsustainable loss in sales and transactions, our membership has cast a vote of ‘No Confidence’ in the executive leadership at Jack in the Box and are asking for immediate response and action by the company’s Board of Directors.”
The membership of the association tasked its leadership with communicating its ‘No Confidence’ vote to the Jack in the Box Board of Directors, after which Jack in the Box Board of Directors hired an independent outside counsel to investigate the ‘No Confidence’ issues. The association also identified a number of key areas of concern that the Board of Directors must focus on and set forth proposed solutions to each of these issues. These action items and proposed solution were detailed in a letter sent to the Board of Directors. The NFA has received no response.
“We believe that the current investigation has no sense of urgency and is intended to further delay a response. As a body, we are disappointed that there have been no effective measures put into place as of yet toward resolving our concerns,” said Rabi Viswanath, NFA President. “We are disheartened that our issues as franchisees have been put on the back burner by the leaders of Jack in the Box. Nonetheless, we feel it is time to advise Jack in the Box’s other stakeholders, its investors and employees, so they gain an understanding of the gravity of the situation currently existing in the Jack in the Box system and why sales and transactions are on the decline, and perhaps they can offer suggestions on how to help solve these problems.”
The association membership concerns expressed in the letter are laser-focused toward the implementation of strategic measures that will positively impact the business and drive transaction, traffic and check average.
The list of concerns and action items set forth in the letter include:
- The restructuring of upper management, including replacing Lenny Comma as CEO.
- The appointment of a qualified CEO with strong and effective experience and demonstrable success in developing an organization like Jack in the Box in terms of size and complexity.
- The appointment of a dedicated Chief Marketing Officer with a clear strategic vision and plan of execution for the company.
- The cessation of questionable financial tactics like reducing support staff and infrastructure so as to avoid further reduction of already depleted G&A expenses and resources.
- The use and expenditures of the system’s Marketing Fund have not been fully or adequately shared with the association resulting in serious concerns about use, allocation and management of the fund.
- The enforcement of the association’s and franchisees’ rights arising out of a prior settlement agreement entered into in 1999.
“We are in need of leadership that is going to provide a robust strategy and vision to allow for the long-term, viable success of this major brand,” said David Beshay, NFA Board Member “We can no longer sit idly by while the existing management team destroys the value of this brand for the franchisees, for employees and for shareholders. The right thing to do is to approach the Board of Directors directly as to our concerns and demand action, and that’s what we are doing.”
The National Jack in the Box Franchisee Association has engaged internationally recognized franchisee attorney Robert Zarco, founding partner at the Miami litigation firm of Zarco, Einhorn, Salkowski and Brito, to represent their interests in this dispute.
“Throughout my involvement, the Franchisee Association has acted diligently and in good faith, making every imaginable effort to reach out to respectfully express their concerns directly with the Jack in the Box leadership to no avail,” said Zarco. “These are small business owners who represent the very fabric of this nation. They should be able to protect their businesses in a true partnership with the leadership of the brand they love and bring daily to their customers. It’s unfortunate that the Jack in the Box leadership has allowed the tension to reach this point. I have a long history of helping franchisors understand the seriousness of their franchise owners’ grievances and expect to advance the concerns of the JIB-NFA in whatever forum necessary to obtain similarly positive results.”
More information about the National Franchisee Association can be viewed by clicking here.
About the National Jack in the Box Franchisee Association
The National Jack in the Box Franchisee Association is comprised of franchise owners in the Jack in the Box Inc. system. Its Board of Directors consists of 16 franchise owners with a combined ownership experience of 163 years. Any franchise owner in the Jack in the Box system may join the JIB-NFA. Currently the association represents 95 franchise owners with approximately 2,000 restaurants. The association was formed in 1995, and its mission is to provide a pathway for franchise owners to offer ground level input to Jack in the Box. on initiatives and issues to benefit both franchise owners and the corporation. It is the organization’s stated intent to have a seat at the table as a partner with Jack in the Box with a role in major decisions that affect franchise owners.
Coltrin & Associates
Jennifer Webb, 212-221-1616
View source version on Business Wire: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181009005351/en/National-Jack-Box-Franchisee-Association-Calls-Jack
Starbucks Names Patrick Grismer Chief Financial Officer
October 8, 2018–(Business Wire)
Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced Patrick Grismer has been appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer (cfo). Reporting to Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and chief executive officer, Grismer succeeds Scott Maw, who will retire on November 30. Maw will remain a senior consultant through March 2019 to ensure a smooth transition, with Grismer joining the company on November 12 and assuming the role of cfo on November 30.
Grismer is an accomplished finance executive, bringing to Starbucks significant leadership experience at global, consumer-facing growth companies, including more than 25 years combined at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Yum! Brands (parent company to KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell) and The Walt Disney Company.
Grismer joins Starbucks from his current position as cfo of Hyatt, which he has held since joining the company in March 2016. In this role, he was responsible for all facets of the global finance function, as well as corporate strategy, asset management, construction, procurement and shared services.
“As a seasoned cfo of multiple global, consumer-facing growth companies, Pat brings tremendous finance expertise, a customer-centric mindset and a wealth of restaurant industry experience to Starbucks,” said Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and chief executive officer. “Pat will be a fantastic addition to the team, and I look forward to partnering with him as we continue to execute against our strategic priorities and drive strong financial performance.”
Prior to Hyatt, Grismer held a variety of leadership positions at Yum! Brands over 14 years, including cfo. Before Yum! Brands, Grismer served in a number of finance and strategy positions at The Walt Disney Company over a ten-year period, including vice president of business planning and development for The Disneyland Resort. Grismer began his career as a management consultant with Price Waterhouse.
Grismer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, a Master of Business Administration degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and became a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California.
“I am very excited to join Starbucks and feel privileged to be part of the team responsible for leading this iconic, global company. I have always admired the Starbucks brand and values, and I look forward to working with Kevin and the leadership team to help lead the company into its next phase of growth,” said Grismer.
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience please visit us in our stores, online at Starbucks.com and through the Starbucks Newsroom.
Starbucks Coffee Company
(206) 318 7100
View source version on Business Wire: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181008005394/en/Starbucks-Names-Patrick-Grismer-Chief-Financial-Officer
MOD Pizza Welcomes John Maguire as Chief Operating Officer
Company Strengthens Leadership Team; Industry Leader Will Oversee Company Operations
October 5, 2018–(Business Wire)
MOD Super Fast Pizza Holdings, LLC (“MOD Pizza”, “MOD” or the “Company”), today announced the appointment of John Maguire to the role Chief Operating Officer (“COO”), effective October 22, 2018. As MOD’s new COO, Maguire will lead the company’s store operations across 380+ locations, with a strong focus on all phases of expansion and growth. He will be based in MOD’s headquarters outside of Seattle, reporting directly to Paul Twohig, MOD’s President (Twohig was previously President and COO). Twohig will continue to lead store development (domestic and international real estate, design and construction), culinary, supply chain, and international and franchise operations.
Maguire was previously President and Chief Executive Officer of FIC Restaurants Inc. (Friendly’s restaurants), a position he held since 2012. In 2016, he subsequently took on the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of Johnny Rockets Group in addition to his position with FIC. Across both private-equity-owned companies, Maguire led global operations, franchising and store development for a combined 625 locations with total annual sales exceeding $800M.
Prior to his time with Friendly’s and Johnny Rockets, Maguire spent 20 years at Panera Bread, in numerous retail operations roles, the last six of which were spent as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. At Panera, Maguire operated over 1,500 bakery cafes, producing in excess of $3.5B in annual systemwide sales. He also built over 700 new locations during his time as Panera’s COO.
“As a leader at Panera during their formative years of growth combined with his experience leading two loved brands, John brings the perfect mix of deep operating expertise combined with experience sustaining the culture required to build an iconic brand,” said Scott Svenson, co-founder and CEO of MOD. “Most importantly, though, John lives the values and beliefs at the heart of MOD. The thing which most attracted him was our commitment to using our business as a platform to make a positive impact on our people and the communities we serve. We could not be more thrilled to welcome him, and are confident that his track record of leading operations across large, multi-unit brands will allow us to further strengthen the MOD experience.”
Added Maguire, “I’m excited to join MOD at such a pivotal time in the company’s history and to be a part of a team that is committed to developing a best-in-class brand by staying true to its purpose-led culture that is truly unique in the fast casual dining industry. I couldn’t be more thrilled to work alongside MOD’s talented team to help magnify the company’s purpose and help expand on their incredible success over the past several years.”
ABOUT MOD PIZZA:
MOD is a purpose-led, people focused brand, founded in Seattle in 2008 by entrepreneur husband and wife team Scott and Ally Svenson. MOD exists to serve people by Spreading MODness, using the platform of pizza to make positive impacts. MOD’s individual artisan-style pizzas are made on demand, allowing customers to create their own pizzas and salads, using fresh-pressed dough, signature sauces and over 30 toppings, all for one incredible price. With more than 380 locations system-wide across 28 states and the United Kingdom, MOD is committed to creating not only a cool place to eat, but an inspired place to work. The company has been recognized as the number one mid-sized restaurant chain in the US in the October 2017 Fishbowl Buzz Brands Report, named as the most loved pizza brand by Foodable Network in its May 2017 Most Loved Brands Report, has been ranked as America’s fastest growing chain restaurant by Technomic, earned a spot on the Inc.500 list, and was recognized by Fortune as one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Retail,” a “Best Workplace for Women,” a “Best Workplace for Millennials,” and a “Best Workplace for Diversity.” For more information, please visit www.modpizza.com or connect with the brand via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
206 261 4963
View source version on Business Wire: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181005005119/en/MOD-Pizza-Welcomes-John-Maguire-Chief-Operating
TGI Fridays Announces Chief Executive Officer Transition
Aslam Khan joins Fridays board, Ray Blanchette joins Fridays as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer
October 2, 2018–(TGI Fridays)
TGI Fridays, a global and iconic brand recognized as “America’s Bar & Grill,” today announced an executive-level transition that will accelerate the company’s growth trajectory and performance across more than 870 Fridays restaurants around the world. Restaurant industry veteran Ray Blanchette has been named Chief Executive Officer following the appointment of Aslam Khan to Vice Chairman of the board. Mr. Khan will work with the board in supporting Ray in his new position.
Mr. Khan, an accomplished entrepreneur and long-time restaurant executive who joined TGI Fridays in April of 2017, will assume the Vice Chairman position effective immediately. Under his leadership, TGI Fridays more than doubled earnings from the previous year and is poised for further growth and expansion. “I’m honored that our Board has entrusted me with the great responsibilities of vice chairmanship,” said Mr. Khan. “My time as CEO has been incredibly rewarding, but this is both the next logical step for me, and the right time to take it. Our foundation is strong, our processes and protocols are sound, and our team is the best in the business. I am genuinely proud and pleased to turn over my officer responsibilities to Ray, an outstanding leader whose business acumen, drive and operational knowledge will help lead Fridays in the years to come.”
Mr. Blanchette comes to TGI Fridays from Ruby Tuesday where he served as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to his tenure at Ruby Tuesday, Mr. Blanchette served as CEO at both Au Bon Pain and Ignite Restaurant Group, the parent company of Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tap & Tavern Brands. He is a seasoned executive with over 25 years of leadership experience in the restaurant industry.
“I am privileged to become the CEO of TGI Fridays,” said Mr. Blanchette. “I started my career at TGI Fridays, where I worked for 18 years. I have great passion for this brand, and it is my dream job. As we move forward and continue our focus on being the best Bar & Grill in the world, I see great things ahead for our guests, team members and this company.”
About TGI Fridays
In 1965, TGI Fridays opened its first location in New York City. More than 50 years later, Fridays operates more than 870 restaurants in 59 countries, offering high-quality, authentic American food and legendary drinks backed by genuine service. Bringing people together to socialize and celebrate the spirit of “Friday” is core to our promise that “In Here, It’s Always Friday®.” Visit www.Fridays.com for more information and download our mobile app. Join Fridays RewardsSM and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
TGI Fridays Corporate Communications
View source version on TGI Fridays: https://www.tgifridays.com/content/dam/i/newsroom/pr/TGI%20FRIDAYS%C2%AE%20ANNOUNCES%20CHIEF%20EXECUTIVE%20OFFICER%20TRANSITION.pdf
Paris Baguette Appoints Darren Tipton as Vice President of Operations
25-Year Industry Veteran To Support Growing Bakery Franchise’s Ambitious Growth Plans
October 2, 2018–(Franchising.com)
Paris Baguette, the Parisian-inspired fast casual global bakery, has recently named Darren Tipton as Vice President of Operations. Mr. Tipton will be responsible for driving positive change amid corporate mergers and within highly competitive markets, transforming operations procedures to achieve company growth goals, and leading teams to improved performance through establishing solid targets for expansion.
Bringing over two decades of experience to his new title as Paris Baguette’s Vice President of Operations, Darren previously held roles with brands such as Bowlmor AMF and Au Bon Pain. Most recently, he served as Vice President of Operations for Le Pain Quotidien USA, where he transformed a double-digit profit and increased service scores from C to an A within the first 12 months for the New York market. Additionally, he reduced cost of goods sold and labor expenses below budget for Q1 in 2018 by creating and introducing restaurant level COGS action plans, reducing waste and establishing hour goals to increase labor productivity.
“I am incredibly excited to become part of the Paris Baguette family at such a pivotal time in the company’s growth,” said Darren Tipton, Vice President of Operations at Paris Baguette. “I’ve always been drawn to the concept for its commitment to quality and excellence, and am looking forward to working with Paris Baguette’s talented team to ensure operational excellence across all aspects of the business.”
“We are proud to have Darren join the Paris Baguette family,” said Jack F. Moran, Chief Operating Officer of Paris Baguette. “He is an accomplished operator with extensive experience in the bakery and franchise sectors – and has a proven track record of increasing sales and profits through improved operations strategies. As Paris Baguette continues its United States expansion, Darren will play a crucial role in positioning us for greater growth.”
For more information regarding Paris Baguette, including store locations, please visit www.ParisBaguette.com. Like Paris Baguette on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ParisBaguetteUS or follow on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/ParisBaguette_USA.
About Paris Baguette
Paris Baguette is a global brand that operates more than 70 corporate and franchise locations throughout the U.S., and over 3,000 internationally. The fast-casual French inspired bakery-café was founded in 1988 and bakes delicious fresh bread daily on site. Paris Baguette’s mission is to bring happiness to everyone by adapting to people’s ever-expanding palates with their decadent, unique and sophisticated pastries, breads, and cakes. The growing bakery chain serves a variety of treats ranging from appetizing snacks to stunning and delicious cakes for all occasions, as well as chef-inspired sandwiches and salads. For more information, visit www.parisbaguette.com.
View source version on Franchising.com: https://www.franchising.com/news/20181002_paris_baguette_appoints_darren_tipton_as_vice_pres.html
Coolgreens Brings on Franchise Veteran Executive as New Vice President of Operations
Oklahoma-Based Healthy Lifestyle Eatery Announces Todd Madlener as Key New Addition to Leadership Team
October 2, 2018–(Franchising.com)
Since it launched franchising in 2017, Coolgreens, the Oklahoma-based healthy lifestyle eatery, has been focused on building up its strong leadership team to support its new franchise model. With CEO Robert Lee at the helm, Coolgreens is excited to announce its newest leadership addition – Todd Madlener, Vice President of Operations.
For the bulk of Madlener’s career he worked with Red Robin, totaling more than 20 years with the brand. At the time Madlener joined the team, the brand was faltering with 100 locations. He was part of a team that re-energized the brand, which soon grew to become an industry leader with more than 400 locations and 22 franchisees operating 137 restaurants in the U.S. and across Canada. Madlener also worked closely with multiple departments within the Red Robin system, leading the brand’s audit to ensure Red Robin operational brand standards were being met across all facets of the organization. Throughout his final 10 years with Red Robin, Madlener was asked to support the franchise system as the Senior Director of Franchise. In the last few years in his role, Red Robin’s franchise system outpaced the brand’s corporate locations in sales and profit. From Red Robin, Madlener went onto work with MAD Greens where he spearheaded the brands regional growth, and eventually partnered up with a large Red Robin franchisee, PB&J Restaurant Group, and worked in many supporting roles for the various brands the group represented including, operations, design and construction, training, and development.
Building on his seasoned experience of fine-tuning operations and leading franchise growth, Madlener is excited to make the next move to join the Coolgreens system, as the healthy eatery really makes it mark in the fast-casual franchise space.
“I am very excited about the opportunity with Coolgreens and get back into an underserved segment of fast casual dining – the salad segment,” said Madlener. “There are burger and pizza joints at every corner, while the salad and healthy concepts are underserved in the U.S. Coolgreens gives me a chance to get back in the segment and offer something different to franchisees who are looking to diversify their business portfolio or want to join the growing healthy fast causal segment.”
At Coolgreens, Madlener will be working directly with the operations team to fine tune daily operational standards, training and onboarding, improving guest experiences, rolling out a new catering program and the list goes on. He will be creating policies and procedures for future franchisees as they partner with Coolgreens, ensuring franchisees are equipped with a strong model to follow as the new franchise launches into growth mode. Madlener will also be assisting Lee as the leadership team shifts its focus to a new prototype, continuing to value engineer and streamline the build, as well as put a large focus on equipment and technology trends, making Coolgreens one to follow in the segment.
“My experiences working with the incredible teams at Red Robin, MAD Greens, and PB&J have set the stage for this exciting new opportunity to get into a brand during the initial stages of franchising, helping to build an infrastructure and culture where people and partnerships come first.” said Madlener. “Coolgreens has a menu that is different from what is already out there, serving great salads while also offering hot items such as sandwiches and flatbreads. I am excited to continue to support the brand and franchisees as they come on board, without driving up costs or complexity, so our franchisees can focus on supporting their teams and guests in world class fashion.”
“As we build momentum for 2019, it’s crucial to have the right people supporting the brand on our leadership team,” said Lee. “Todd has the proven experience taking brands to the next level and we are so excited to have him on our team as we head into growth mode. We are excited for what’s to come and taking the healthy segment by storm.”
Coolgreens, a down-the-line fresh, naturally sourced food concept, offers build-your own salads, wraps, bowls, flatbreads, and more all through a chef-curated menu. The menu highlights limitless combinations of fresh lettuce, vegetables sliced fresh in-store each day, house-made toppings, dressings made from scratch, and options for all dietary needs, including gluten free, carb free, and low fat. Founded in 2009 in Oklahoma City, the brand quickly grew to seven corporate-owned locations, before launching its first franchise offering in mid-2017. For more information please visit http://www.coolgreens.com/.
No Limit Agency
View source version on Franchising.com: https://www.franchising.com/news/20181002_coolgreens_brings_on_franchise_veteran_executive_a.html
FM Restaurants Appoints Randy Sharpe as Chief Executive Officer and Ned Algeo as Chief Financial Officer
Seasoned Executives Bring Long Track Record of Operational and Financial Success to Z Capital Affiliate
October 1, 2018–(PR Newswire)
FM Restaurants HoldCo, LLC (“FM Restaurants”), an affiliate of Z Capital Group, LLC (“Z Capital”), a leading alternative asset manager of opportunistic, value-oriented private equity and credit funds, today announced the appointments of Randy Sharpe as Chief Executive Officer and Ned Algeo as Chief Financial Officer.
With nearly two decades of regional and national management experience at a variety of multi-concept restaurant chains, Mr. Sharpe brings deep operational expertise to FM Restaurants. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President of Operations at Romano’s Macaroni Grill, a casual dining chain specializing in Italian cuisine, where he oversaw the restaurant operations (including menu development and vendor relations) and improvement of more than 80 company-owned and more than 20 franchised locations across the country. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Operations for Real Mex Restaurants, where he managed the operations of the company’s casual dining concepts – El Torito, Chevys Fresh Mex, and Acapulco.
Mr. Algeo joins FM Restaurants with a strong track record of financial discipline and exemplary leadership at prominent companies in the restaurant, food and beverage, consumer products and telecommunications industries. He previously served as the Senior Director of Finance and interim Chief Financial Officer of Real Mex Restaurants from 2016 through June 2017, during which time the company achieved consistent year-over-year positive same-store sales growth and outperformed the casual dining industry index in California. Most recently, Mr. Algeo served as Vice President of Finance at Mobilitie, the largest privately held telecommunications infrastructure company in the United States.
“Randy and Ned are the right people to build out the FM Restaurants team and we are thrilled to partner with them as we pursue investment opportunities in the restaurant space,” said James Zenni, Z Capital’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “I look forward to working closely with them to execute on our strategic growth objectives as we look to expand key brand initiatives, complete strategic acquisitions and grow our national footprint.”
“Throughout my career, I have focused on driving improvements at leading restaurant chains through best-in-class operational and organizational efficiency practices,” said Mr. Sharpe. “As the restaurant industry and particularly the casual dining sector continue to evolve, I look forward to working with Jim, Rahul, Ned and the rest of the exceptional leadership team to identify and execute on the opportunities that will further elevate our brands and position them for long-term growth and success.”
Mr. Algeo said, “FM Restaurants is entering an exciting stage of growth and reinvestment, and I look forward to working closely with Randy to implement a financial infrastructure that will allow us to provide unmatched resources and support to our flagship brands.”
“We are pleased to welcome Randy and Ned, who have the operational expertise, creative vision and deep understanding of the restaurant industry to steer the company forward,” said Rahul Sawhney, Senior Managing Director of Z Capital. “With prior executive management experience at Real Mex Restaurants, and with the support of Z Capital’s extensive resources and expertise, they are well-positioned to lead the FM Restaurants team to execute its strategy of acquiring and enhancing industry-leading brands.”
FM Restaurants, which is an affiliate of Z Capital, has been approved as the buyer in the court-supervised auction for certain assets of Real Mex Restaurants.
About Z Capital
Z Capital and its subsidiaries are a leading alternative asset management firm with approximately $2.3 billion of regulatory assets under management. For over two decades, the leadership of Z Capital has worked together to realize significant capital appreciation by making controlling equity investments in companies across a diverse array of industries including consumer, gaming, hospitality, industrial and automotive.
Z Capital creates value for its investors by collaborating with talented management teams to generate investment returns by structurally improving the strategic position, competitiveness and profitability of its portfolio companies. The Z Capital Private Equity Funds’ portfolio companies are within numerous industries, have aggregate annual revenues of approximately $1.3 billion, sell products in 57 countries, and have over 11,000 employees and an excess of 200,000 associates, directly and through joint ventures worldwide. The Z Capital investment strategy and portfolio companies are described at www.zcapgroup.net.
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
Jonathan Keehner / Julie Oakes / Kate Clark
View source version on PR Newswire: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fm-restaurants-appoints-randy-sharpe-as-chief-executive-officer-and-ned-algeo-as-chief-financial-officer-300721688.html
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop Names David Catalano COO
Exec Joins Rapidly Expanding Fast-Casual Brand
September 28, 2018–(PR Newswire)
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, the Baja-style taco joint founded near the TCU college campus in 2001, has named industry veteran David Catalano as Chief Operating Officer. Most recently, Catalano was COO at Logan’s Roadhouse. He has also held senior leadership roles at Hard Rock Café and TGI Friday’s along with being the first franchisee of Twin Peaks.
“David is an industry pro, having worked on both emerging restaurant concepts and established brands,” said Mel Knight, President of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop. “He has also worked on the franchisee side of the table, making him the right person to work alongside our phenomenal franchise partners.”
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop celebrates its 17th anniversary this year and has rapidly grown to 144 restaurants in 12 states with another 17 locations in development. The brand was recently named Nation’s Restaurant News’ #7 “Fastest Growing Chains” of 2018, as well as QSR magazine’s Top 6 “Best Franchise Deals by Franchisee Satisfaction.”
“I’m excited to join a company that is already doing so many things right,” said Catalano. “I’ve been a fan of the brand for a long time and look forward to using my restaurant and hospitality experience to further the Fuzzy’s Taco Shop success story.”
The fast-casual restaurant serves Mexican favorites with a splash of Baja, and breakfast all day, with many restaurants featuring a patio and bar serving ice-cold schooners of beer and margaritas. It has also served up solid unit economics resulting in six consecutive years on Franchise Business Review’s “Top Franchises” list.
For more information, visit FuzzysTacoShop.com. Like Fuzzy’s Taco Shop on Facebook, and follow on Twitter and Instagram, for updates on promotions and your daily fix of taco pics.
About Fuzzy’s Taco Shop
Founded in 2001 near the TCU campus in Fort Worth, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop® is a fast-casual restaurant serving Mexican favorites with a splash of Baja. The laid-back atmosphere pairs perfectly with signature Baja-style tacos, famous chips and queso, and icy-cold beverages always served at a chill price. Fuzzy’s currently has 144 corporate and franchised locations in 12 states. The brand was named Nation’s Restaurant News’ #7 “Fastest Growing Chains” of 2018, QSR magazine’s Top 6 “Best Franchise Deals by Franchisee Satisfaction”, and Franchise Business Review’s “Top Franchises” list.
View source version on PR Newswire: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fuzzys-taco-shop-names-david-catalano-coo-300720779.html
Tony Lowings Promoted to KFC Division CEO, Effective January 1, 2019
Lowings Will Succeed Roger Eaton Who is Retiring
September 28, 2018–(Business Wire)
Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) today announced the promotion of Tony Lowings, 60, to KFC Division Chief Executive Officer, reporting to Yum! Brands Chief Executive Officer, Greg Creed, effective January 1, 2019. Lowings, a 24-year veteran of the Company, who currently serves as KFC Division President and Chief Operating Officer, will succeed Roger Eaton who is retiring at the end of 2018.
In this new role, Lowings will assume global responsibility for driving the brand strategy and performance of KFC. KFC is the world’s most popular chicken restaurant brand with more than $24 billion in global system sales and more than 21,000 restaurants in over 130 countries and territories as of year-end 2017. General Managers of KFC around the world (including KFC U.S.) as well as leaders of KFC’s global functions, will report to Lowings effective January 1.
“Tony Lowings is an outstanding leader with deep knowledge of our business and a strong track record of growing KFC’s presence and strengthening the brand’s competitive position with our franchise partners in markets around the world,” said Creed. “As a proven and highly respected strategic brand builder, high impact operations leader and people grower, Tony is the perfect person to continue elevating KFC into a distinctive, relevant and easy global brand that people trust and champion. I’m extremely confident Tony and his management team will establish a seamless transition and continue to successfully execute KFC’s long-term global growth strategies in partnership with our franchisees.”
Lowings has held a variety of leadership positions at Yum! Brands across finance, operations and general management in several international business units. Prior to becoming President and COO of KFC Division earlier this year, Lowings was Managing Director of Asia-Pacific, a high-growth region for the brand representing 23 markets and comprising more than 50 percent of all KFC Division restaurants. During this time, Lowings provided coaching and support to the KFC business units in India, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and the Asia franchise business unit. He previously served as Managing Director of KFC SOPAC (Australia and New Zealand) where he was instrumental in growing the business and establishing KFC as one of the region’s most distinctive and unique brands. Lowings’ career at the Company includes roles as Chief Operations Officer of Yum! Restaurants International, Managing Director of Latin America and the Caribbean for KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell and General Manager of KFC and Pizza Hut in Australia and New Zealand.
“I’m thrilled and incredibly privileged to continue working with our committed KFC leaders and amazing franchise partners to further strengthen and accelerate the development of our powerhouse global brand,” Lowings said. “KFC is an iconic, well-loved brand with millions of fans and I couldn’t be more excited about its future.”
Roger Eaton has been with Yum! Brands and KFC for more than 20 years, leading the KFC brand globally since 2014. Throughout his successful career with the Company, he has held a number of leadership positions including Chief Operations Officer of Yum! Brands, Chief Executive Officer of KFC U.S., Chief Operating and Development Officer of Yum! Brands and Senior Vice President/Managing Director of Yum! Restaurants International South Pacific (SOPAC), among others.
“I want to thank Roger Eaton, a dear colleague and friend to many, for his tremendous service, dedication and significant contributions to our business over the past two decades,” said Creed. “Roger’s imprint on our culture, people and the KFC brand is vast and his legacy is lasting. While we will miss Roger, he’s earned this next phase of life and we wish him well as he spends time with his wife Debbie and children Pierce and Georgie.”
KFC, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM.), is a global chicken restaurant brand with a rich, decades-long history of success and innovation. It all started with one cook, Colonel Harland Sanders, who created a finger lickin’ good recipe more than 75 years ago, a list of secret herbs and spices scratched out on the back of the door to his kitchen. Today KFC still follows Colonel Sanders’ formula for success, with real cooks breading and freshly preparing delicious chicken by hand in more than 21,000 restaurants in over 130 countries and territories around the world.
About Yum! Brands
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 45,000 restaurants in more than 140 countries and territories and is one of the Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders in North America. In 2018, Yum! Brands was recognized as part of the inaugural Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index, named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index and ranked among the top 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. The company’s restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – are global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Worldwide, the Yum! Brands system opens over seven new restaurants per day on average, making it a leader in global retail development.
Yum! Brands, Inc.
Analysts are invited to contact:
Keith Siegner, 888-298-6986
Vice President, Investor Relations, Corporate Strategy and Treasurer
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Director, Investor Relations
Members of the media are invited to contact:
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Director, Public Relations
View source version on Business Wire: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180928005263/en/Tony-Lowings-Promoted-KFC-Division-CEO-Effective
FranConnect Appoints New CEO Gabby Wong to Drive Growth and Innovation
Wong previously served as Executive Vice President of Customer Operations at FranConnect
September 27, 2018–(Restaurant News)
FranConnect, the leading provider of franchise management solutions, announced the promotion of Gabby Wong to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to continue its path of market leadership and to accelerate innovation and growth of its products and services in the franchise industry. The transition of Wong to CEO will take place in mid-2019. In the interim, Wong will assume the role of President of FranConnect, where in addition to her Customer Operations responsibilities, she will lead Product Management, Strategy and Development. The Sales, Marketing, and Finance functions will transition shortly thereafter in 2019.
Robert Post, Executive Chairman stated, “The Board of Directors executed an exhaustive search, interviewing hundreds of candidates with prior CEO and software experience. Gabby’s internal candidacy, however, stood out. She brings proven leadership and a strong customer orientation. The customer orientation in particular was a foundation for the strategic planning process that she recently led, which culminated in a compelling roadmap that will deliver innovating products to the market and drive growth in the years to come.” Post will remain in his Executive Chairman role in support of Wong and the management team in the implementation of the newly approved growth plan to more than double the size of the company.
Over the last 24 years, Wong has built a successful career in the high-growth, private-equity backed software industry. She has held executive leadership positions with worldwide responsibility for global operations at Primavera Systems (now Oracle), Trusted Computer Solutions (now ForcePoint), Verint, and Clarabridge. Wong is known for her ability to build organizations that can scale globally, and also remain obsessively focused on product innovation and customer success.
“The franchise industry is dynamic, fast-paced, and competitive, and as a result, our customers are demanding more innovative technology that can help them grow their brands in a faster and smarter way,” said Wong. She continued, “Franchisors and franchisees are highly dependent upon each other for growth. In order to grow and sustain a successful system, franchise brands need to scale processes and engagement to drive rapid revenue growth and unit performance at the local level. This requires innovative solutions that support data-driven decision-making on the performance of the overall franchise operations, and the ability to take action on these decisions in a tangible, measurable way.”
“FranConnect’s market leadership is unparalleled and we are uniquely positioned to support the market in innovating to support the growing needs of the ecosystem,” states Wong. “I am excited about taking the helm of a successful company like FranConnect.”
Voted #1 franchising solution by Entrepreneur Magazine, FranConnect provides proven franchise management software to more than 700 brands and 140,000 franchisees including multi-unit operators, area developers, and emerging brands. Exclusively dedicated to the franchising industry, FranConnect solutions enable customers to grow up to 44% faster, increasing units, and making them more successful. Only FranConnect comes with Franchising Built-In™ – exclusive functionality and best practices for the entire franchise lifecycle – so franchisors can more effectively manage, track, and run their business. To learn more, go to https://www.franconnect.com.
President of Franchise Operations and CMO
View source version on Restaurant News: http://www.restaurantnews.com/franconnect-appoints-new-ceo-gabby-wong-to-drive-growth-and-innovation-092718/
Cornerstone Restaurant Group Names Josh Zadikoff President
Son of founder will oversee the group’s Crate and Barrel restaurant
September 26, 2018–(Restaurant Hospitality)
David Zadikoff, founder and CEO of Cornerstone Restaurant Group, announced that his son Josh Zadikoff, former brand operations manager, will take on the role of president, the company said Wednesday.
Chicago-based Cornerstone oversees chef Bill Kim’s BellyQ and Urbanbelly restaurants in Chicago as well as Michael Jordan-brand restaurants throughout the country. The company owns and operates 12 restaurants in total.
In his new role, the younger Zadikoff will lead Cornerstone’s partnership with retail chain Crate and Barrel. The company is creating a full-service restaurant in the home furnishings retailer’s Oakbrook Center store in Oak Brook, Ill. The restaurant is set to open in the spring of 2019 and will feature chef Kim’s cuisine.
“This is a natural transition for us and the right time, given Josh’s experience, his thirst for driving the business and his desire to build on our family-focused legacy,” said David Zadikoff, who will remain on as CEO.
Josh Zadikoff helped open and manage the group’s SolToro Restaurant in Connecticut. He spent four years with Hyatt Hotels before returning to Cornerstone to open and manage Michael Jordan’s Steak House in Chicago. He was later named Cornerstone’s brand operations manager.
“This is what I love to do,” said Josh in a news release. “My dad has set an amazing foundation for Cornerstone and instilled our culture of heartfelt hospitality. I’m thrilled to guide us into this next generation.”
In addition, Cornerstone named Danny McGowan, currently vice president, to the role of chief operating officer. Vice president of finance Matt Goldstick was also appointed chief financial officer
When announcing the Crate and Barrel partnership, the elder Zadikoff said, “There is a tremendous opportunity to push the boundaries of the restaurant and retail spaces. The sense of shared purpose was an instant match between our two companies. We are excited to deliver a new experience for the new consumer.”
The Crate and Barrel restaurant is part of a growing trend of restaurants opening in retail locations. Earlier this month, RH, formerly Restoration Hardware, opened a flagship location with a cafe and rooftop restaurant in Manhattan
View source version on Restaurant Hospitality: https://www.restaurant-hospitality.com/people/cornerstone-restaurant-group-names-josh-zadikoff-president
Scooter’s Coffee Hires John Todd as Chief Development Officer
Brings More Than 20 Years of Experience From Top Restaurant Brands
September 24, 2018–(Franchising.com)
Scooter’s Coffee, the Midwest-based coffee franchise that has experienced tremendous nationwide growth over the past year, announced that it has hired John Todd as Chief Development Officer. Todd is an exceptional and well-rounded leader, with more than 20 years of experience in the commercial development sector of prominent quick-service restaurant brands.
As Scooter’s Coffee’s CDO, Todd will guide Scooter’s Coffee toward its goal of surpassing 1,000 stores by the end of 2023. He will oversee franchise sales, construction, real estate and acquisitions.
“Scooter’s Coffee is growing rapidly, and we need leaders who can take us to the next level,” stated Todd Graeve, Chief Executive Officer. “Throughout his considerable career, John guided several franchise-based restaurant brands toward success by securing significant market expansion while improving processes and optimizing profit. He holds to heart our core values, and he will make a great addition to our team.”
Most recently, Todd served as Senior Vice President of Development with Cicis Pizza. Prior to that, he held the role of Chief Development Officer with Fiesta Restaurant Group and Arby’s Restaurant Group.
In line with their successful and robust grand opening strategy, Scooter’s Coffee recently opened five locations throughout Kansas and Missouri, opened the first of many locations in Arkansas and is opening additional locations in markets such as Phoenix, Arizona; Rapid City, South Dakota; Dallas, Texas; and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Americans love their coffee. The percentage of people in the U.S. who drink coffee daily is up to 62 percent in 2017. The National Coffee Association also recently discovered the percentage of Americans drinking coffee prepared outside of the home is at an all-time high of 46 percent in 2017. Scooter’s Coffee, with the Brand Promise of Amazing People, Amazing Drinks…Amazingly Fast! ® is helping to meet that demand.
Scooter’s Coffee is a drive-thru franchise that has been serving world-class coffee for 20 years. It roasts only the finest beans, and it makes that first-morning sip convenient and rewarding for its customers across the nation. Scooter’s Coffee is quickly approaching 200 locations in 16 states and has over 150 franchise commitments to build new stores. To find out why Scooter’s Coffee is among the best coffee franchises in the nation and to learn more about franchise opportunities, visit ownascooters.com.
About Scooter’s Coffee
Founded in 1998 by Don and Linda Eckles in Bellevue, Nebraska, Scooter’s Coffee roasts only the finest coffee beans in the world at its headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. In more than two decades of business, Scooter’s Coffee’s success is simple: stay committed to the original business principles and company core values. The Scooter’s Coffee Brand Promise, often recited to franchisees, customers and employees is: “Amazing People, Amazing Drinks… Amazingly Fast!®” It represents the company’s business origins from 1998 and reflects a steady commitment to providing an unforgettable experience to loyal and new customers.
Scooter’s Coffee specializes in hand-tamped espresso drinks, fruit smoothies, baked-from-scratch pastries and features its signature drink, the Caramelicious®. The company also serves a line of hot and iced organic teas, single-origin coffee and the original Cold Brew & Cream. This year, one of Scooter’s Coffee’s drink innovations includes Red Bull Infusions.
Scooter’s Coffee is at the dawn of a strategic growth phase in the Midwest and nationwide. The U.S. coffee market is an estimated $48 billion a year recession-resistant industry, and Scooter’s Coffee is striving to become the #1 drive-thru coffee franchise in the nation. Visit ownascooters.com to learn more about the benefits of owning a franchise of a well-established company.
View source version on Franchising.com: https://www.franchising.com/news/20180924_scooterrsquos_coffee_hires_john_todd_as_chief_deve.html
Boston Market Appoints Eric Wyatt As New Chief Operating Officer
September 24, 2018–(PR Newswire)
Boston Market®, the rotisserie everything experts, today announced the addition of Eric Wyatt as Chief Operating Officer.
Mr. Wyatt brings more than 20 years of restaurant operations experience to Boston Market. Prior to Boston Market, Wyatt served as Vice President of Operations for a large Panera Bread franchisee where he was responsible for all aspects of the company’s day-to-day operations, including retail, marketing, recruiting, human resources, catering, facilities and bakery. Prior to Panera Bread, he held senior operational leadership roles with Starbucks, Taco Bell, Bath & Body Works and Mobil Oil. Wyatt holds a B.A. in speech communications from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.
“Eric is a results-driven restaurant industry executive and brings a proven track record of operational leadership and excellence to Boston Market,” said Frances Allen, Chief Executive Officer of Boston Market. “He will be a key leader in developing and executing our strategic plan going forward, and will be focused on flawless operational execution to deliver a highly satisfied guest experience. We are excited to have Eric and his expertise on the Boston Market team.”
About Boston Market
At Boston Market, dinner is always ready. Headquartered in Golden, Colorado, Boston Market Corporation has given time back to busy families and individuals for more than 30 years with quality, home style meals at a convenient value in more than 450 U.S. locations. Known as the experts in rotisserie cooking, the company prepares fresh chicken, turkey and USDA choice Prime Rib in signature rotisserie ovens and features an extensive selection of home style sides and made-from-scratch cornbread. As one of the country’s largest providers of catering services, Boston Market offers convenient, same-day orders and delivery for corporate and personal events of all sizes. In January 2017, Boston Market officially launched its “Quality Guarantee,” which acts as a continued commitment to all guests that Boston Market will serve all-natural and fresh, never frozen, gluten-free, whole chicken with no added hormones, steroids, antibiotics or MSG. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.bostonmarket.com. For the latest news and deals, follow @bostonmarket on Twitter or join us on Facebook.
Seth Grugle, ICR
View source version on PR Newswire: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/boston-market-appoints-eric-wyatt-as-new-chief-operating-officer-300717522.html
ezCater Appoints Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Sales Officer
September 20, 2018–(Restaurant News Resource)
ezCater, the world’s largest online marketplace for business catering, today announced it has hired James (Jay) Rosenstock as Chief Strategy Officer and Mike O’Hanlon as Chief Sales Officer. These hires follow a $100 million Series D funding round and the acquisition of Paris-based GoCater earlier this summer. Rosenstock and O’Hanlon add new expertise to ezCater’s executive team and help position the company for future growth.
“Jay and Mike each bring experience that helps us aim higher and grow faster – two of our core tenets,” said Stefania Mallett, Co-founder and CEO at ezCater. ”On top of that, their decency, humor, and gravitas make them perfect culture fits.”
As Chief Strategy Officer, Rosenstock leads ezCater’s financial, international, and corporate development strategy. “ezCater’s growth has been tremendous and I’m looking forward to being part of the next chapter by helping forge strategic partnerships and scale internationally,” said Rosenstock.
Prior to ezCater, Rosenstock was Chief Corporate Development Officer at Vice Media, where he oversaw the company’s significant global expansion and raising of capital. Prior to Vice, Rosenstock served in various corporate executive and operational roles at companies including Discovery Communications and Sony. He began his career as an investment banker covering the media and technology industries.
As Chief Sales Officer, O’Hanlon leads strategic partnerships and sales for both sides of ezCater’s marketplace. “ezCater does an amazing job of helping business professionals succeed and restaurant operators grow their catering business. I’m thrilled to join to help expand and deepen relationships with our customers and catering partners,” said O’Hanlon.
Previously, O’Hanlon was Vice President of Corporate and Business Development at Wayfair for twelve years, where he developed key strategic partnerships with online marketplaces, media companies, and leading consumer brands. He founded and led Wayfair’s media solutions business, launched and served as General Manager of the company’s European business, and led the buying team where he built relationships with over 3,000 supplier partners.
Rosenstock and O’Hanlon join recent additions to the executive team. Janine Allo joined as Chief People Officer in August, Stephen Leguillon as Head of Western Europe in July, and Michelle Smart as Vice President of Partner Operations in May.
View source version on Restaurant News Resource: https://www.restaurantnewsresource.com/article101721.html
McDonald’s Announces President, International Lead Markets & Chief Restaurant Officer Doug Goare to Retire
Company also announces updated global business segments, beginning in 2019
September 24, 2018–(Globe Newswire)
McDonald’s Corporation today announced that President, International Lead Markets & Chief Restaurant Officer Doug Goare, 66, will retire after 40 years of service on December 31, 2018.
“Doug has been an important leader whose career at McDonald’s has spanned multiple continents and his expertise has contributed greatly to the success of our business today,” McDonald’s President and CEO Steve Easterbrook said. “I have always valued his wise counsel and his passion for elevating the experience for our customers and crew. We thank Doug for his steadfast leadership and wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”
In anticipation of Goare’s retirement and with the evolution of the Company’s business model over the past few years to a more heavily franchised structure, the Board of Directors approved several organizational changes to McDonald’s global business. These actions are designed to continue the Company’s efforts towards driving growth as a better McDonald’s through the Velocity Growth Plan.
Beginning January 1, 2019, McDonald’s will operate under a new organizational structure with the following global business segments:
- U.S. – will continue to operate under the leadership of Chris Kempczinski, 49, President, McDonald’s USA.
- International Operated Markets (IOM) – comprised of wholly-owned markets, or countries in which the Company operates restaurants, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain and the U.K. Joe Erlinger, 45, will lead this segment as President, International Operated Markets, and will continue to report to Easterbrook.
- International Developmental Licensed Markets (IDL) – the remaining markets in the McDonald’s system will be led by Ian Borden, 50, as President, International Developmental Licensed Markets. Borden will continue to report to Easterbrook. Corporate activities will also be reported within this segment.
“The organisation we created as we were beginning our turnaround in 2015 helped us make decisions more quickly, act with greater agility and strengthen the performance of our markets,” said Easterbrook. “This new organisational structure provides us the opportunity to continue building on our progress, making sure McDonald’s remains positioned to run great restaurants and better serve our customers.”
For important news and information regarding McDonald’s, including the timing of future investor conferences and earnings calls, visit the Investor Relations section of the Company’s Internet home page at www.investor.mcdonalds.com. McDonald’s uses this website as a primary channel for disclosing key information to its investors, some of which may contain material and previously non-public information.
McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with over 37,000 locations in 120 markets around the world. Over 90 percent of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local businessmen and women.
This release contains certain forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date hereof. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations are detailed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, such as its annual and quarterly reports and current reports on Form 8-K. The Company undertakes no obligations to update such forward-looking statements, except as may otherwise be required by law.
Media: Andrea Abate
Investors: Mike Flores
View source version on Globe Newswire: https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/09/24/1575137/0/en/McDonald-s-Announces-President-International-Lead-Markets-Chief-Restaurant-Officer-Doug-Goare-to-Retire.html
Tech-savvy CEO takes over Charlotte restaurant chain amid plans for growth and change
September 20, 2018–(Charlotte Observer)
Showmars has come a long way since its humble beginnings in Matthews.
An ad in the Charlotte Observer from 1982, the year George Couchell opened the first Showmars on Independence Boulevard, boasted “the best burger in town” — a pita burger — for $1.89. Now, the local chain is transitioning to its third CEO, a tech-savvy and healthy-minded restaurant industry veteran who is charged with growing the brand but keeping it true to its roots.
This week, Showmars is announcing that Dean Peroulas, 50, will take charge of the 31-location restaurant chain. Peroulas is taking over for Konstantine Zitsos, the chain’s CEO since 2009 who hired Peroulas from his family’s restaurant in Roanoke, Va., in the mid-1990s.
In an interview with the Observer this week, Couchell and Zitsos lauded Peroulas’ youthful energy and creativity. Peroulas, for instance, helped lead Showmars through a recent re-branding that included a new slogan — “Southern. Fresh. Greek” — and the renovation of all its restaurants.
“The thing I’m so proud of is Dean will preserve what brought us here,” said Couchell, 79. He added that that includes fresh ingredients and high-quality service. But Couchell, who along with Zitsos will remain at Showmars as operating partners, acknowledges the need for change in an industry as competitive as restaurants.
The chain has ramped up its social media presence in recent months, for instance.
Over the years, Peroulas has also spearheaded technology upgrades for the chain — including transitioning its digital operations into a completely cloud-based system — as well as menu changes, many of which were driven by increasingly health-conscious customers.
Showmars now offers, for instance, a vegan “beyond burger” made with peas and beet juice. Newer menu items contain “clean” ingredients such as chemical-free dressings and sustainably sourced fish.
“It’s been an evolution from the very beginning,” Peroulas said. “We’ve been about customer service. We’ve been about quality food and overall value. That’s something that hasn’t changed. What has changed is trends.”
When Couchell, a first-generation Greek immigrant, first created the Showmars menu, the restaurant served breakfast, lunch and dinner. It offered everything from subs to pancakes to apple cobbler. Couchell eventually pared down the menu to the best-selling items.
Today, Showmars executives see the menu as still evolving, and the nimbleness helps the chain keep up with customer demands.
Couchell has said repeatedly over the last 36 years that Showmars, a neutral name he picked because the restaurant was neither fully Greek nor fully Southern, “fills a void” between fast food and full-service restaurants. The prices are on par with what you’d see at a fast-food restaurant like Burger King (Showmars’ classic burger is $3.99, for instance) but employees bring orders straight to your table.
In growing the brand, Showmars is planning to expand its base in the Carolinas. The company opened its first store in the Triangle recently in Wake Forest. Other locations are planned in Kannapolis and Raleigh.
Peroulas said, “We’d love to” grow beyond North and South Carolina, such as into Atlanta and other parts of Georgia.
“We will look to expand but also want to pay attention to our core values to make sure that the quality of our product is intact,” Peroulas said. “We’ll continue to grow with the focus of making sure we stay true to who we are.”
Showmars is the latest restaurant chain to take root in Charlotte but expand into other markets. Bojangles’ has done that, as have others like Salsarita’s, Bad Daddy’s and Famous Toastery.
But you likely won’t see Showmars jumping into new states outside the Southeast like Bojangles’ has done in recent years, or becoming a national chain like Bad Daddy’s is now.
“Our success is due in part to people recognizing our brand,” Peroulas said. Zitsos, the outgoing CEO, estimates that nearly half of first customers of the new Wake Forest location were already familiar with the name.
View source version on Charlotte Observer: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/whats-in-store/article218666940.html
Tom Duhigg Joins Growing Chick N Max as SVP of Operations
Chick N Max was founded in 2018 by restaurant industry veteran Max Sheets.
September 20, 2018–(QSR Magazine)
As Chick N Max staffs for growth, restaurant industry veteran Tom Duhigg joins the executive team as senior vice president of operations.
“Tom is an experienced professional and we are grateful he has chosen to put his talents to work for our growing company. We’re restaurant people with a genuine love and appreciation for the magic that happens at the table—Tom fits right in,” says Max Sheets, president and CEO. “With the opening of the first two locations for the concept just this year, we are listening and fine-tuning right now and preparing for the future. Tom’s greatest strengths center on developing in-restaurant systems that reflect, and make repeatable, our company culture.”
The third Chick N Max location kicked-off construction this week. Also in Wichita, the restaurant will be the first on the city’s west side and the first with a drive-thru. In addition to the three restaurants, Chick N Max is building a commissary kitchen in central Wichita. A retail line of hot sauces and seasonings, also developed by the brand this year, are available for purchase in the restaurant and online.
“Tom brings decades of experience to our concept and is enthusiastic about our efforts to grow and expand. His expertise will initially help us implement online ordering, develop an official training program, and institute effective systems that ensure consistency across our growing system,” Sheets says. “We’re trying to do something big here and it requires advanced know-how. If you look at the team we’re building, it is clear that we are investing in the future.”
Max and Tom crossed paths during their time in association with Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. Tom served as Director of Training, Operations and Development for HCI Hospitality, doing business as Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Cox Brothers BBQ, and Coco Bolos Wood Fired Grill. He previously spent 10 years with Mimi’s Café as Multi-unit Supervisor and New Store Opening Director after coming up through the ranks in regional and general manager rolls with Sizzler.
Chick N Max was founded in 2018 by restaurant industry veteran Max Sheets. With a career in restaurant development that spans more than three decades, Sheets conceptualized the brand with GHA Design Lab and assembled a team of culinary professionals to perfect the menu of chicken tenders, wings and smoked chicken. The country’s first Chick N Max landed in the heart of Wichita, Kansas—a metro area long known for ties to successful restaurant start-ups and entrepreneurial genius. Additional Wichita locations are in development and plans are underway for expansion in select markets across the country.
View source version on QSR Magazine: https://www.qsrmagazine.com/news/tom-duhigg-joins-growing-chick-n-max-svp-operations?utm_campaign=20180921&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jolt
Four Foods Group Appoints Shauna K. Smith as Company President
September 19, 2018–(Business Wire)
Four Foods Group (FFG), a restaurant investment, development, operations and management company founded in 2008 and based in American Fork, announced today that Shauna K. Smith has been named President of the company. In addition to co-founding FFG, Smith served as the company’s Chief Merchandising Officer for ten years.
“Over the past few years, Shauna’s influence and responsibilities have continued to increase at FFG. She is a leading force in driving company culture, which has been increasingly important as we’ve acquired a number of new restaurant brands,” said Four Foods Group CEO Andrew K. Smith. “Shauna’s tremendous talent will touch every aspect of the business as we grow. I am fortunate to have her as a strong and inspiring partner in both my personal and professional life.”
Since co-founding FFG in 2008, Shauna was directly involved with day-to-day operations of the company’s first Kneaders Bakery and Café restaurant. After operating in every capacity of the restaurant on a day-to-day basis for the first year, she began directing all of FFG’s buying and merchandising of the retail operations inside the company’s 50 Kneaders restaurants. As FFG broadened its scope through the acquisition of 71 Little Caesar’s restaurants in the Southeast, plus acquisitions of R&R Barbeque, Swig, Mo‘Bettahs and the Soda Shop brands, Shauna has played a pivotal role in welcoming new employees into the popular Four Foods Group culture.
“I am excited to bring my dedication and passion for this amazing organization into this new role and to maintain the incredible positive momentum we have rolling at Four Foods Group,” said Four Foods Group President Shauna K. Smith. “Our best days are ahead of us, and I have every confidence that our team will continue representing incredible food and restaurant concepts by systematically creating great experiences for foodies and families all over the country.”
As president of Four Foods Group, Smith becomes one of the most influential food and beverage executives in the United States, as FFG was again listed #85 in the Top 200 Restaurant Operators in the nation. As a businesswoman in a male-dominated industry, she understands the opportunity and responsibility associated with this role.
“I couldn’t be happier for our company that Shauna is stepping into this expanded role,” said Four Foods Chief Operating Officer Josh Boshard. “She has a sharp business mind and has been brilliant in creating the atmosphere of our restaurants – something we believe has set us apart. As we continue to grow, Shauna’s steady hand will lead FFG into many new, up-and-coming restaurant brands.”
“With so many positive experiences in this business with intelligent, dedicated women, I would submit that there aren’t nearly enough women in leadership positions in our industry or business in general. With the conversation surrounding Indra Nooyi’s announcement of her retirement from Pepsi and a recent study that reveals that women in business leadership in our own state is dropping, I am proud that FFG is a company that champions women at all levels. More than 58 percent of our workforce and 47 percent of our company leadership are women. By adding my voice and position to this effort, I would hope to see these numbers grow.”
Shauna will lead a team of more than 5,500 FFG employees running 154 restaurants in locations across the United States. FFG was named the third fastest-growing restaurant operator in 2017 by Franchise Times, is a multi-time winner of “Best Companies to Work For,” and currently holds a 4.9/5.0 Glassdoor rating. Last month, FFG was also listed in the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies in the nation for the seventh consecutive time.
More information about Four Foods Group and the brands they manage can be found at https://www.fourfoodsgroup.com/
About Four Foods Group
Four Foods Group (FFG) is a restaurant investment, development, operations and management company with 154 restaurant locations with two to five additional sites in development or under construction every month. FFG has ranked among Inc. Magazine’s 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America for seven consecutive years, a Mountain West Capital Network (MWCN) 100 recipient for five years running, and as a Utah Valley (UV) 50 company for seven years running. The company currently employs more than 4,300 employees, with more than 145 at their corporate offices in American Fork, Utah and Birmingham, Alabama. Their restaurants rank among the Technomic Top 150 Fast Casual Restaurants.
Four Foods Group
Roo Yeshpaul Johnson
View source version on Business Wire: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180919005099/en/Foods-Group-Appoints-Shauna-K.-Smith-Company
Growing Velvet Taco Names Ken Brendemihl SVP of Operations
In his role, Brendemihl will oversee daily operations at Velvet Taco’s nine locations throughout Texas and Illinois, as well as additional new locations slated to open in 2019./span>
September 18, 2018–(QSR Magazine)
Velvet Taco, the Dallas-based, funky, fast-casual restaurant known for creating tacos with international flavors, has selected Ken Brendemihl as Senior Vice President of Operations. He brings more than 25 years of industry expertise to the position having held senior leadership roles with national brands including Brinker International, Texas Roadhouse and California Pizza Kitchen.
“Ken brings such valuable leadership and experience to our company, especially during this period of rapid growth,” says Clay Dover, Velvet Taco’s president and taco maker. “The backbone of any great restaurant is having solid operating processes that function like a well-oiled machine and can be implemented in any market and any location. Ken has a proven history of doing just this, and we know his vision will help every aspect of our operations as we continue to expand.”
In his role, Brendemihl will oversee daily operations at Velvet Taco’s nine locations throughout Texas and Illinois, as well as additional new locations slated to open in 2019. He makes his home in Lucas, Texas.
View source version on QSR Magazine: https://www.qsrmagazine.com/news/growing-velvet-taco-names-ken-brendemihl-svp-operations?utm_campaign=20180919&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jolt
RAVE Restaurant Group Announces Executive Leadership Promotions
New President and Chief Accounting & Administrative Officer announced
September 18, 2018–(Restaurant News)
RAVE Restaurant Group, the parent company for Pizza Inn and Pie Five Pizza Co., today announced internal promotions including Bob Bafundo to President of RAVE and Andrea Allen to Chief Accounting and Administrative Officer.
Bafundo joined RAVE in 2016 as president of Pizza Inn. In his new role, he will oversee day-to-day operations for all RAVE brands. During his tenure, he has developed and implemented successful initiatives leading to six straight quarters of positive same store sales and a resurgence in restaurant growth for Pizza Inn. He also led the brand to introduce a new non-traditional brand, PIE, as a complement to the brand refresh and expansion of Pizza Inn.
“Bob has done a fantastic job of re-energizing the guest experience and franchise base at Pizza Inn,” said Scott Crane, Chief Executive Officer of RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. “He positioned the brand for new growth through system wide remodels, adding new franchise partners and revitalizing the current franchise system. He has also worked closely with our franchise partners to strengthen franchise relations. Operationally, he spearheaded new programs such as online ordering, point of sale roll-out, catering, all-day buffet, and a rewards program that have all been game-changers for our legacy brand.”
Allen joined RAVE last year as Vice President of Accounting/Controller. She has been instrumental in streamlining accounting processes through new technology initiatives and collaborating with company leaders on financial planning and reporting. In her new role, she will oversee all accounting, finance and administrative needs for the company. Allen previously served as Vice President of Procurement and Information Systems and Controller at Bar Louie, BL Restaurant Operations, and was a financial consultant for TGI Fridays.
“Andrea has made a tremendous impact on our financial processes,” said Crane. “All of our brands have seen improvements in budgeting, analysis and decreased time in monthly and quarterly reporting. I look forward to working more closely with her as we continue to gain traction. These new leadership changes will solidify our leadership team as we continue to grow our three brands domestically and internationally.”
About RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc.
Founded in 1958, Dallas-based RAVE Restaurant Group [NASDAQ: RAVE] owns, operates and franchises approximately 300 Pie Five Pizza, Pizza Inn and PIE restaurants domestically and internationally. Pie Five Pizza is a leader in the fast-casual pizza space offering made-to-order pizzas ready in under five minutes. Pizza Inn is an international chain featuring freshly made pizzas, along with salads, pastas, and desserts. PIE is a kiosk concept that offers a fast, convenient way to serve customers the same iconic, quality pizza they have come to expect from Pizza Inn. The Company’s common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “RAVE”. For more information, please visit raverg.com.
View source version on Restaurant News: http://www.restaurantnews.com/rave-restaurant-group-announces-executive-leadership-promotions-091818/
Chuy’s Holdings, Inc. Names John Mountford Chief Operating Officer
September 14, 2018–(Business Wire)
Chuy’s Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHUY) today announced that John Mountford has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer, effective September 11, 2018.
“I am very pleased to promote John to the role of Chief Operating Officer” said Steve J. Hislop, Chuy’s Chief Executive Officer. “For the past eight years, John has consistently proved his leadership and operational acumen, including most recently overseeing our culinary/back of the house operations and ensuring that our food quality is consistent and true to the Chuy’s legacy. As a seasoned and trusted leader, I am confident that John will continue to inspire our teams to provide the exceptional service and food quality that our guests have come to expect.”
John Mountford, age 56, has served as the Company’s Vice President of Culinary Operations since 2016. He joined the Company in 2010 and served as an Area Supervisor of Operations from 2010 to 2013 and as a Director of Culinary Operations from 2013 to 2016.
Prior to joining the Company, John was with Sam Seltzers Steak House from 2006 to 2010. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer from 2007 to 2010 and Vice President of Operations from 2006 to 2007. Prior to Sam Seltzers, John served in various operational leadership positions, including Vice President of Culinary Operations for Cooker Bar and Grill, and Director of Culinary Operations for Houston’s Restaurants where he opened over 30 new restaurants.
Founded in Austin, Texas in 1982, Chuy’s owns and operates 98 full-service restaurants across 19 states serving a distinct menu of authentic, made from scratch Tex-Mex inspired dishes. Chuy’s highly flavorful and freshly prepared fare is served in a fun, eclectic and irreverent atmosphere, while each location offers a unique, “unchained” look and feel, as expressed by the concept’s motto “If you’ve seen one Chuy’s, you’ve seen one Chuy’s!”. For further information about Chuy’s, including the nearest location, visit the Chuy’s website at www.chuys.com.
For Chuy’s Holdings, Inc.
Fitzhugh Taylor, 203-682-8261
View source version on Business Wire: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180914005062/en/Chuy%E2%80%99s-Holdings-Names-John-Mountford-Chief-Operating