top of page

Executive Movements - February 2022

Michelle Korsmo Named President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association; CEO of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

Washington, D.C. – The National Restaurant Association today announced the appointment of Michelle L. Korsmo as the Association’s President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and CEO of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, effective May 1, 2022. In this role, Korsmo will be responsible for guiding the Association’s strategic path toward its vision for a thriving restaurant and foodservice community.

"The search committee led an exhaustive search for a people-centered leader with extensive business acumen and deep policy experience. We have found this in Michelle. She brings — to both our Association and Foundation — association leadership experience, including working closely with policymakers on a bipartisan basis. On a personal level, she embodies a warm sense of hospitality," said Lance Trenary, Chair of the National Restaurant Association Board.

Korsmo is a seasoned trade association executive with extensive public policy experience at the federal and state levels. Since 2018, she served as President & CEO of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, prior to which she served as CEO of the American Land Title Association after being promoted from COO. Additionally, Korsmo was Executive Vice President at Americans for Prosperity Foundation and served in the 2001-2004 Bush Administration as Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.

“Every restaurant — Main Street eateries, quick-service cafes, fine-dining establishments, and all the foodservice locations in between — depend on the National Restaurant Association to serve as the leading advocate on their behalf at each level of government, especially given the unprecedented challenges restaurants continue to face from COVID-19’s impact on our country,” said Korsmo. “People from all backgrounds benefit from the training and education the National Restaurant Association and Educational Foundation provides, and it will be fulfilling to be a part of that important work. In so many ways, restaurants are the heart of our communities. Sharing the innovative ways these restaurants are serving those communities can better inform policymaking while also attracting the next generation of foodservice leaders and employees. It’s a tremendous honor for me to help lead that effort.”

The restaurant industry is the nation’s second-largest private sector employer with nearly 1 million foodservice outlets nationwide. In 2022, the industry is forecast to reach $898 billion in sales, and grow its workforce by more than 400,000 jobs.

The National Restaurant Association works to create a thriving restaurant and foodservice community, providing America with nourishment, opportunity, and joy, working to enhance quality of life for all. Learn more about it and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation here(Opens in a new window).

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.6 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show(Opens in a new window)); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe(Opens in a new window)); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants(Opens in a new window)Facebook (Opens in a new window)and YouTube(Opens in a new window).

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s mission of service to the public is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce.  NRAEF programs include:  ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community-based organizations to provide “opportunity youth” and justice-involved individuals with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship Project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. For more information on the NRAEF, visit

View source version at National Restaurant Association

Clean Juice Promotes Quick Chadwick to Chief Marketing Officer

February 8, 2022

Clean Juice, the first and only national USDA-certified organic juice bar franchise and quick service restaurant today, announced the promotion of B. Quick Chadwick to the position of Chief Marketing Officer.

As the newest member of the C-suite, Quick will continue his role in developing and leading all marketing and public relations efforts across a multitude of traditional and digit al channels as the popular, all organic, fast-casual brand continues to experience rapid growth across the nation. Additionally, Quick will assist the marketing programs for Clean Juice’s sister franchise brand, freecoat nails – the nation’s newest and completely non-toxic nail and beauty salon franchise.

Earning his Master of Business Administration from Mercer University’s Stetson School of Business and Economics, Quick is a veteran marketing professional drawing on more than 20 years of experience in his role with Clean Juice. As Clean Juice’s VP of Marketing for the past four years, Quick was instrumental in growing the brand to 120+ stores and 100 Franchise Partners across 30 states.

“Through God’s grace, my desire to work with an amazing group of people and a meaningful brand brought me to the doorstep of Clean Juice nearly four years ago,” said Chadwick. “I am extremely proud to be a part of the Clean Juice family, where I’ve been a part of helping build a brand built on core values and its walk-the-walk focus of “Healthy in Body, Strong in Spirit” for all people and communities within Clean Juice Nation.”

As Chief Marketing Officer, Quick inspires the voice, sentiment, and brand reputation through his expertise and professional ethics as Clean Juice continues to award new units and welcomes new Franchise Partners to the family. It’s clear to all that meet him that Quick’s passion and leadership, anchored in his faith, is the reason the Clean Juice Marketing Services Team is so successful.

“Kat and I, as well as the entire Clean Juice and freecoat nails family, are very proud of Quick’s contributions and accomplishments tied to the rapid growth our brands have enjoyed,” said Landon Eckles, CEO of Clean Juice and freecoat nails. “Quick brings a level of expertise, drive, and passion that is un-wavered. We are inspired by his commitment and proven ability to continue the forward momentum we’ve ignited as we enter another year of record-breaking growth.”

When Quick isn’t working with his team on developing the Clean Juice and freecoat nails brands, he can be found doting on his beautiful wife and three children, spending time with them at the beach, or searching for his next Atlanta Falcons football team collectible.

Landon and Kat Eckles started Clean Juice in 2016 as the first and only USDA-certified organic juice bar franchise and is rooted in the “healthy body and a strong spirit” (3 John 1-2) scripture and highlights the importance of an organic, plant-based diet. Clean Juice offers organic cold-pressed juices, smoothies, açaí bowls, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and other healthy foods in a warm and welcoming retail experience. In its short history, Clean Juice has amassed dozens of achievements and awards, including most recently being named #154 in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2021 Franchise 500 ranking and the #1 spot as Franchise Gator’s 2021 Fastest-Growing Franchises list. Clean Juice continues to seek and welcome qualified prospects to its family of franchise partners. For more information about Clean Juice, its leadership team, core values, and franchising opportunities, please visit or

View source version at Clean Juice

Wienerschnitzel Promotes J.R. Galardi to Chief Executive Officer

February 7, 2022

The 33-Year-Old Will Continue Father’s Legacy & Oversee All Brands Under the Galardi Group Inc. Umbrella

Irvine, CA  (  Wienerschnitzel, the world’s largest hot dog franchise, is proud to announce J.R. Galardi has been appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer effective February 1, 2022. The title of CEO has been added to his current position as company president which he has held since 2017. In his expanded role, Galardi will oversee all Galardi Group Inc. concepts including Wienerschnitzel, Tastee Freez and Hamburger Stand. Having grown up with the brand, Galardi brings two decades of unique insight and experience to his elevated leadership role. His first job was with Wienerschnitzel as a janitor and over the years has touched nearly every facet of the business, from the fry station and drive-thru window to marketing, operations, community relations and business development. Galardi’s multidimensional experience will prove fruitful as he steps into the CEO role and leads the health and future of Galardi Group Inc.’s three growing brands. Former CEO Cindy Galardi Culpepper will maintain her role as Executive Chairman.

“I’m honored to continue my father’s legacy and have the opportunity to build upon the brand he created over 60 years ago in addition to the extended portfolio of concepts he believed in,” said Galardi, President & CEO of Galardi Group Inc. “We say this is a family business, but that isn’t defined by name or relation; it’s an unwavering commitment to our extended family of franchise partners in providing them with the tools to thrive while also delivering a consistently enjoyable experience to our loyal guests.”

Under Galardi’s leadership as company president, same-store sales increased 42 percent, digital sales have grown 400 percent and all areas of service improved significantly. With a hunger to expand the brands into untapped territories, new franchise area agreements were signed throughout the South and Northwest, and Galardi spearheaded the creation of Wienerschnitzel’s International Division to expand trademarks outside the United States. Another hallmark of Galardi’s tenure, Wienerschnitzel successfully lowered the average age of its customer base while maintaining the loyalty of its legacy guests. Through engaging brand partnerships, innovative marketing initiatives and guest-friendly digital upgrades, Galardi turned the more than 60-year-old brand into one with multigenerational appeal. Today, Wienerschnitzel is an iconic restaurant where guests continue to pass down their love of the brand’s legendary hot dogs, chili dogs and corn dogs to their children and children’s children. New memories will be made, and traditions will live on as Wienerschnitzel evolves to meet the changing demand of today’s consumer while staying true to what made the brand a household name more than six decades ago.

“Beyond being extremely dedicated to the success of our franchise partners and longevity of our brands, J.R. is a passionate visionary whose innovative ideas have already proven successful in bringing Galardi Group and our concepts into the future,” said Galardi Culpepper. “He’s extremely forward-thinking when it comes to strategizing for what’s next, but also has the self-assurance and determination to see his ideas through to the end. I have every confidence he will uphold his father’s vision to instill Wienerschnitzel’s place in the heart and minds of generations to come.”

As CEO, Galardi has his sights set on opening Wienerschnitzel locations outside the U.S. before year’s end. He also plans to embrace new industry disrupters like virtual kitchens, product licensing and other nontraditional ways of serving its popular menu creations both domestically and abroad. Along with focusing on the profitability of all brands, Galardi will expand efforts under Wienerschnitzel’s “Serving Food to Serve Others” mission to provide even more resources and financial aid to for-cause organizations primarily benefiting children in need and the homeless.

There are nearly 350 franchised Wienerschnitzel locations in operation throughout 10 states, with more than 50 units in various stages of development across the U.S.  To learn more about the brand and the benefits of owning a Wienerschnitzel franchise, visit

About Wienerschnitzel

Founded by John Galardi in 1961 with a single hot dog stand in Wilmington, California, Wienerschnitzel ( is one of the iconic pioneers of the quick-service food industry. The World’s Largest Hot Dog Chain serves more than 120 million hot dogs annually – and is fueled by a mission of “Serving Food to Serve Others,” giving back a percentage of profits to its charitable partners. Based in Irvine, CA, Galardi Group Inc. franchises nearly 350 Wienerschnitzel restaurants in 10 states. The Galardi Group is also the parent company and franchisor of Hamburger Stand and Tastee Freez LLC. Visit Wienerschnitzel’s FacebookTwitterInstagram or YouTube to learn more.

View source version at Wienerschnitzel

Good Times Welcomes Don Stack as Senior Vice President of Operations at Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard

February 03, 2022 07:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

GOLDEN, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Good Times Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: GTIM) (the “Company”), operator of Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar and Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard, today announced that Donald L. Stack has been named Senior Vice President of Operations and will succeed Scott Lefever in this role upon completion of the leadership transition on February 7, 2022. Scott Lefever will continue to be employed by the company through his retirement on March 31, 2022.

"We are excited to announce the addition of Don to our Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard team," said Ryan Zink, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Don brings 45 years of restaurant experience having started as a teen in QSR and developing into the Senior Vice President of Operations at the parent company responsible for a portfolio of 93 restaurants in 17 states including the Fox & Hound, Champps, and Bailey’s restaurant concepts. Most recently Don served at Firebirds International as a Regional Manager responsible for operations of Firebirds restaurants in five Midwest states. Don brings a passion for people and the business and will be an integral part of our plans for the brand."

Mr. Stack stated, "Joining Good Times takes me back to my QSR roots and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to build strong relationships and to further develop our team as we grow and energize this amazing brand. People are my joy both professionally and personally and, spending time building someone up or simply celebrating life and success together is my goal every day."

About Good Times Restaurants Inc.: Good Times Restaurants Inc. (GTIM) owns, operates, franchises and licenses 42 Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar restaurants through its wholly owned subsidiaries. Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar is a full-service “small box” restaurant concept featuring a chef-driven menu of gourmet signature burgers, chopped salads, appetizers and sandwiches with a full bar and a focus on a selection of craft microbrew beers in a high-energy atmosphere that appeals to a broad consumer base. Additionally, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Good Times Restaurants Inc. operates and franchises a regional quick-service restaurant chain consisting of 32 Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard restaurants located primarily in Colorado.

View source version at Good Times Restaurants

la Madeleine Appoints Christine Johnson as New Chief Operating Officer

February 3, 2022

Popular French neighborhood café advances executive to oversee restaurant level operations, marketing and franchise development

Dallas, TX  (  la Madeleine French Café CEO Lionel Ladouceur announced that the company has promoted Christine Johnson as its new chief operating officer.

Already closely acquainted with the popular French café, Johnson is an experienced practicing attorney of more than 18 years and joins la Madeleine after serving as vice president and general counsel, and more recently, chief administrative officer for Le Duff America, la Madeleine’s parent company. Prior to working for Le Duff, Johnson held general counsel positions at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, as well as with a large Texas-based franchise group whose portfolio included over 130 restaurants.

“We’re proud to have Christine serve as la Madeleine’s chief operating officer,” Ladouceur said. “Christine has an extensive background in franchising, retail and hospitality, which has given her a great understanding of corporate profitability, operations and marketing. She’s an innovative and well-rounded leader who brings a wealth of experience and industry know-how to our brand. We’re thrilled to have Christine in this new role, and we’re confident she will lead la Madeleine to further success.”

As COO, Johnson is shifting roles to assume direct responsibility for the brand’s restaurant-level operations, marketing and franchise development. Over the past two years, la Madeleine has been more strategic with its marketing tactics and operational execution. In her new position, Johnson hopes to refine what their team has learned so far in order to create a more dynamic and adaptable brand that is poised for growth.

“I can’t wait to continue developing with the la Madeleine brand and bring new ideas to the table,” Johnson said. “Our industry has changed drastically in recent years, and we must embrace this without losing sight of our identity and the amazing legacy our brand has created. As we achieve this, la Madeleine will have the ability to grow from a regional brand into an international one. I’m excited to have a front seat as we take this brand to the next level.”

To learn more about la Madeleine, visit

In the middle of a busy life, la Madeleine is a little piece of France you can call your own.

About la Madeleine French Café

French-founded and French-owned since 1983, la Madeleine French Café is a convenient daily escape for guests. Serving breakfast all day, lunch and dinner, the menu is rooted in approachable French cuisine using simple, fresh ingredients and time-honored recipes featuring soups, salads, sandwiches, entrées, pastas, handmade French patisserie and more. Walking into la Madeleine, guests are transported to France with a traditional French bakery display and a space to call your own. In 2019, la Madeleine ranked as the #2 Baked Goods Franchise by Entrepreneur, and Sandelman ranked the company #1 for Availability of Indulgent Items, #2 Sandwich Chain, and #3 for Attractive and Inviting Restaurants. la Madeleine was also just ranked one of the Top Franchisees of 2021 by Entrepreneur. To learn more about la Madeleine’s franchise opportunities, visit La Madeleine operates more than 86 corporate and franchise bakeries in nine states, and is owned by Rennes, France-based Groupe Le Duff, which was founded by Louis Le Duff in 1976. For more information, visit and follow la Madeleine on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

View source version at la Madeleine


Five senior executives join WFF Board to accelerate the advancement of women

Feb 02, 2022, 06:00 ET

DALLAS, Feb. 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Women's Foodservice Forum (WFF) has elected five senior leaders to its 2022 Board of Directors and named new positions for its Executive Committee members. They join a robust board of executives focused on increasing targeted learning opportunities for women building their careers in the Food Industry, expanding the organization's global reach, and shining a light on the workplace challenges still experienced by many women, and more severely by women of color.

"With unprecedented resilience and vision, the Food Industry is building toward an even brighter future that includes greater influence from women, people of color, and other previously underrepresented leaders," said WFF President & CEO Therese Gearhart. "WFF is proud to play a pivotal role in cultivating more gender-diverse leadership across the industry as we continue to expand our year-long, career-long learning, inspiration and support for women, and the forward-thinking companies they represent."

Tracy Skeans, Chief Operating Officer & Chief People Officer of Yum! Brands, Inc., and newly named WFF Board Chair for 2022, emphasized WFF's commitment to expanding partner relationships into additional segments of the food ecosystem and delivering additional partner solutions.

"The global brands engaged with WFF, and that are committed to building inclusive workplaces, have an exciting opportunity to significantly accelerate the advancement of women. I look forward to working with industry leaders throughout the year as we take tangible actions toward achieving that goal," Skeans said.

TRACY SKEANS APPOINTED CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS WFF Board Chair-Elect and Yum! Brands Chief Operating Officer & Chief People Officer Tracy Skeans has been appointed Chair of the WFF Board of Directors. Skeans reports to the Yum! Brands CEO and has global responsibility for leading cross-brand collaboration on operational execution, people capability and customer experience imperatives that will fuel Yum!'s same-store sales and net-new unit growth around the world. Yum! Brands, Inc. has over 52,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries and territories primarily operating the company's restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill.

ANITA ZIELINSKI APPOINTED CHAIR-ELECT OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS Board Treasurer and SVP, Chief Accounting Officer at Sysco, Anita Zielinski, has been appointed Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors and will succeed to Chair in 2023. Zielinski joined Sysco in 2017 and oversees the Company's accounting functions, with responsibility for financial accounting and reporting, accounting policy, tax compliance and strategy and internal controls. With more than 58,000 associates, Sysco operates 343 distribution facilities worldwide and serves more than 650,000 customer locations.

SARAH KING APPOINTED TREASURER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS Board Executive Committee Member and Senior Vice President, Chief People and Diversity Officer of Darden Restaurants, Sarah King, has been appointed Treasurer of the Board of Directors and will succeed to Chair-Elect and Chair over the next three years. A member of Darden's Executive Team, she leads the execution of Darden's people strategy as well as building organizational capability and employee culture to further enable Darden's growth. She is also responsible for all aspects of the HR functions within Darden, including oversight of the HR organizations within each of Darden's operating companies.

View full version at Women's Foodservice Forum

BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. Appoints Julius W. Robinson, Jr. to its Board of Directors

January 31, 2022 16:30 ET

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., Jan. 31, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ: BJRI) today announced the appointment of Mr. Julius W. Robinson, Jr. to the Company’s Board of Directors as an independent director, effective January 28, 2022. Additionally, Mr. Robinson will serve as a member of the Compensation Committee of the Board. The appointment of Mr. Robinson brings the total number of the Company’s board members to thirteen.

Mr. Robinson currently serves as the Chief Sales & Marketing Officer for the United States and Canada at Marriott International, Inc. (“Marriott”) (NASDAQ: MAR). Marriott is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of nearly 8,000 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 139 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. Mr. Robinson is responsible for top line sales and leads the disciplines of Sales, Distribution, Field Marketing, Loyalty, Revenue Strategy, and Public Relations and Crisis Communications for Marriott’s largest division. Mr. Robinson’s experience in the hospitality industry spans nearly three decades with Marriott. His senior leadership roles include Senior Vice President and Global Brand Leader for Marriott Hotels and Sheraton Hotels, and he has held the position of Global Brand Leader for Autograph Collection Hotels and Tribute Portfolio, which represent Marriott’s foray into independent and boutique hotels. Mr. Robinson also previously served as Vice President of Global Sales, Vice President of Brand Franchising, and Regional Vice President of Revenue Management for the Eastern United States.

“I am pleased to welcome Julius to BJ’s Board of Directors,” said Greg Levin, Chief Executive Officer & President. “Julius’s wealth of knowledge and experience in the hospitality industry, coupled with his marketing and sales expertise, will be invaluable as we continue building a national brand that delivers a higher quality, more differentiated casual dining experience for our guests. We look forward to leveraging Julius’s national multi-unit brand experience and are certain that he will be a valuable asset to our Board and Company.”

About BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. (“BJ’s”) is a national brand with brewhouse roots where craft matters. BJ’s broad menu has something for everyone: slow-roasted entrees, like prime rib, BJ’s EnLIGHTened Entrees® including Cherry Chipotle Glazed Salmon, signature deep dish pizza and the often imitated, but never replicated world-famous Pizookie® dessert. BJ’s has been a pioneer in the craft brewing world since 1996, and takes pride in serving BJ’s award-winning proprietary handcrafted beers, brewed at its brewing operations in five states and by independent third party craft brewers. The BJ’s experience offers high-quality ingredients, bold flavors, moderate prices, sincere service and a cool, contemporary atmosphere. Founded in 1978, BJ’s owns and operates 211 casual dining restaurants in 29 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington. All restaurants offer dine-in, take-out, delivery and large party catering. For more BJ’s information, visit

View source version at BJ's Restaurants

Pieology Pizzeria Names Shawn Thompson as New Chief Executive Officer

January 26, 2022

Tustin, CA  (  Pieology has announced the appointment of Shawn Thompson as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Shawn joins the custom pizza brand from Supercuts where he served as President.  Preceding Supercuts, Shawn was President of Tim Hortons USA and Head of Global Operations for Restaurant Brands International (RBI). He has led large-scale consumer-facing franchised brands, opened hundreds of units, and developed deep franchisee relationships across multiple brands.

“I couldn’t be happier to lead Pieology into its next phase of growth,” said Shawn. “Carl created an amazing Brand and I look forward to bringing it to the rest of the world.”

Most recently, Shawn was responsible for 2,500+ Supercuts locations in North America and the United Kingdom.  Prior to this, Shawn spent eight years with RBI, serving in a variety of roles with Burger King, Tim Hortons and the Parent company RBI.  As President of Tim Hortons.USA, Shawn oversaw Operations, Marketing, Franchising, Field Operations, Finance and Restaurant Development. He also served as the Head of Global Operations for RBI leading Operational Standards and Analytics, Equipment and Training for 25,000+ locations globally.

“We are very enthusiastic about his leadership in stewarding the evolution and growth of Pieology into the new economic environment we now live,” said Carl Chang, Founder of Pieology.

“We look forward to moving beyond COVID and into 2022 with new excitement and vigor. With Shawn’s leadership and extensive executive experience and in partnership with the Executive Team and the Board, I am highly confident Pieology’s future looks brighter than ever.”

About Pieology

Founded in 2011, the 130-restaurant franchise Pieology was created from the simple idea to turn America’s most craveable food into an affordable and interactive experience that is tailored to each individual. Pieology’s vision is to serve individuality in a positive atmosphere where guests can safely gather with family and friends, while enjoying their delicious pizza creations. Along with providing great food and a memorable dining experience, Pieology is committed to making a positive difference in the communities it serves, one pie at a time. Our guests can enjoy high quality, custom pizzas at home with Pieology delivery, curbside pickup and takeout, available at participating locations.

View source version at Pieology

Smoothie King Taps Restaurant Franchise Veteran for Key Leadership Role

January 25, 2022

Shawn Caric Joins World’s Largest Smoothie Brand to Drive Growth, Franchisee Recruitment

Dallas, TX  (  Smoothie King, the leading global smoothie franchise, announced today the hiring of franchise industry veteran Shawn Caric as Vice President of Franchise Development. With decades of franchise experience, Caric will drive the brand’s franchise development efforts by leading a talented team dedicated to recruiting passionate franchisees. These efforts will support the company’s aggressive long-term growth plans to attract 70 new franchisees and sign 200 total store commitments in 2022.

No stranger to the restaurant industry, Caric comes to Smoothie King with an understanding of strategic development and vast experience of successful growth. As the Director of Development for Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins, Caric worked to develop and execute strategic market and expansion strategy plans for both brands throughout the 11-state Midwest region. During his long tenure at Dunkin’, Caric’s guidance turned the Dunkin’ franchising team into industry leaders within the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) segment for new store commitments year after year. Most recently, he was the Vice President of Franchise Development for QDOBA Mexican Eats, where he directed the 740-unit brand’s strategic franchise expansion across key markets in the United States and Canada. Prior to working with QDOBA, Caric has also held franchise leadership positions with Hollywood Tans and Red Mango. Additionally, Shawn spent 13 years with Hallmark Cards, serving the Northeast region in training, market development, operations, and regional sales management roles.

“My passion and energy comes from growing brands and helping franchisees to achieve their goals. And Smoothie King provides me the opportunity to do just that,” said Caric. “As a franchising professional, nothing gets you more excited than working for a purpose-driven, category leading brand with strong leadership, great unit-level economics and a solid foundation with plenty of room for growth. Smoothie King checked all of these boxes for me and I am excited to begin this journey with the brand.”

The focus of the franchise in 2022 is to continue ramping up unit-level economics and system-wide growth through the introduction of new consumer-facing technology, product lines, and tools for franchisee success. All geared towards inspiring guests to live a healthy and active lifestyle. One which, with the help of Smoothie King, will be more convenient and obtainable than ever.

“We wouldn’t be the brand we are today without the leadership and dedication of individuals like Shawn – those passionate about our growth and bringing on the right franchisees to help expand our brand and leave our mark on the $2 billion smoothie segment,” said Wan Kim, CEO of Smoothie King. “Shawn is highly-skilled with decades of successful franchise experience under his belt, which makes him well-equipped for the responsibilities he is taking on. Highly regarded in his respective field, I have the utmost confidence in his ability to succeed in his new role at Smoothie King.”

In addition to representing another iconic American brand, Caric is excited about the unique opportunity for new and existing franchisees of Smoothie King. “Between the low labor operating model, the ability to scale, and the availability for traditional and non-traditional development in many markets across the country, the time is now to join us,” added Caric.

As the world’s largest smoothie brand with more than 1,300 stores open, Smoothie King has achieved same-store sales growth for the past 9+ years by delivering masterfully crafted blends that support its guests’ healthy and active lifestyles. Get started by visiting for more information.

About Smoothie King Franchises, Inc.

Smoothie King Franchises, Inc., the original U.S. smoothie franchise, is a privately-held, Dallas-based franchise company with over 1,300 locations worldwide. Founded in 1973, Smoothie King has evolved into a lifestyle brand inspiring people to live healthy and active lifestyles via nutritious, great-tasting smoothies. The franchise earned No. 13 overall on Entrepreneur’s prestigious Franchise 500 list in 2022. The company also debuted on the “Inc. 5000” list in 2018 and ranked as one of Franchise Business Review’s Top Franchises of 2022.

View source version at Smoothie King


Brand continues to strengthen leadership team with industry talent

Jan 31, 2022, 08:33 ET

ATLANTA , Jan. 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Krystal, the original slider of the South, recently named Manny Rodriguez its new Vice President of Operations. Rodriguez will lead operations for the brand with a focus on company-owned restaurants. He is a seasoned restaurant professional with more than 20 years in operations and training, having worked with notable global brands throughout his career.

"Manny has a deep understanding and commitment to creating meaningful connections with team members and guests. He strives to develop great teams to ensure the success and vitality of an organization," said Thomas Stager, President for Krystal Restaurants LLC. "He's proven throughout his robust career in the restaurant industry that he can create and implement the systems and processes needed to carry a company toward success, while holding steadfast to operational excellence and focus on his team members. His talents and expertise will play a vital role for Krystal as we step into the future of the brand and continue to provide quality food and service for our guests."

Prior to joining Krystal, Manny Rodriguez served as Vice President of Operations and Training for Focus Brands International, a leading developer of global multi-channel foodservice brands. He launched the Customer Experience Center of Excellence and was responsible for providing virtual support, operational reviews, and training to 1,700 locations in 60 countries.

Rodriguez also had a successful seven-year run with global chicken restaurant leader Church's Chicken. As Senior Global Director of Operations Systems and Performance, he launched and enhanced numerous operational tools aimed at improving the guest experience, simplifying the production process, increasing store level transparency, and building different routines for the different levels of organization, while also managing numerous programs. Prior to this role, Rodriguez served as the Senior Global Director of Operations Excellence, where his work improved Overall Guest Satisfaction by eight points and lowered Guest Complaints by 12 points. He achieved these accomplishments while leading a team of operational excellence coaches around the world. He started with the brand as the Director of Operations.

Before Church's Chicken, Rodriguez worked on the franchisee side with Dunkin' Brands, one of the world's leading franchisors of quick service restaurants serving hot and cold coffee and baked goods. Rodriguez started his career with Burger King as a District Manager in New Jersey.

Manny Rodriguez holds a Bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems from the University O&M Dominican Republic, his native country. In addition to being a career restaurant professional, Rodriguez is also a published author, having written "The Power of Discomfort."

For more information about Krystal, visit

About Krystal Restaurants LLC Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, Krystal Restaurants LLC is the original quick-service restaurant chain in the South. Krystal hamburgers have been served fresh and hot off the grill on the iconic square bun since 1932. The company proudly sticks to the classics, but over the years, they've never been afraid to innovate.

Krystal has grown to be in 10 states with nearly 300 restaurants and continues to deliver a one-of-a-kind taste experience through their unique menu items that are offered at a great price. The company's Atlanta-based Restaurant Support Center serves a team of more than 3,500 employees. In 2019, the company was selected to USA Today's Top-10 Best Regional Fast Food List.

View source version at Krystal

CKE Restaurants Names Industry Veteran as Senior Vice President, Hardee's Operations

Eric Wyatt Brings Proven Track Record of Operations Leadership, Franchise Support and Growth

Jan 27, 2022, 14:09 ET

FRANKLIN, Tenn., Jan. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (CKE), owner, operator and franchisor of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, announced the appointment of Eric Wyatt as Senior Vice President, Hardee's Operations. Wyatt will oversee company and franchise domestic operations for more than 1,750 locations in the Southern and Midwestern United States.

"Eric is a successful operating executive with experience in both franchisor and franchisee led companies," said Chief Operating Officer John Dunion. "He is known as a skilled operator with in-depth knowledge of operating procedures, systems, practices and performance. Best of all, he has strong people and communication skills, something that is vital to our organization."

Most recently, Wyatt served as chief operating officer of Boston Market Corporation and Corner Bakery Café. While there, he restructured the field organization for both brands and created field learning and facilities teams. He was also at the helm navigating a global pandemic, managing labor challenges and building a transformative path forward for the brands.

Previously, Wyatt held progressive executive management positions with Taco Bell corporate and franchise groups, Starbucks and American Bread Company, a franchisee of Panera Bread. He has global experience, having led business planning and implementation in the U.S., as well as advised and supported leadership in countries across North and South America, EMEA and Asia Pacific.

"I'm incredibly excited to join the Hardee's brand. Hardee's is a world-class franchise organization, plus they have superb company operated restaurants," said Wyatt. "Hardee's iconic brand has a longstanding tradition of quality food served by people who truly care about their guests. I look forward to being part of a great future."

Wyatt holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communications from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania.

About CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. ("CKE") is a privately held company based in Franklin, Tennessee. CKE, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, owns and operates Carl's Jr.® and Hardee's®, two beloved regional brands, known for one-of-a-kind premium and innovative menu items such as 100 percent Black Angus Thickburgers®, Made from Scratch™ Biscuits and Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders™. With both a US and international footprint, Carl's Jr. Restaurants LLC and Hardee's Restaurants LLC have over 3,800 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 44 states and 43 foreign countries and U.S. territories. For more information about CKE, please visit or its brand sites at and

View source version at CKE

Red Lobster Names Patty Trevino Chief Marketing Officer

January 20, 2022

Orlando, FL  (  Red Lobster® announced Patty Trevino will join its Senior Leadership Team in the newly created role of Chief Marketing Officer. Trevino comes to Red Lobster from CKE Restaurant Holdings, Inc. where she served as Senior Vice President of Marketing for both the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s brands.

“Since I joined Red Lobster a few months ago, my goal has been to build an unstoppable, aligned team of expert leaders, that come together to create amazing support for our guests and our employees. I am absolutely thrilled to have Patty join our already incredibly talented team and take on the critical role of aligning and integrating our guest analysis with our menu and message strategies,” said Kelli Valade, CEO, Red Lobster.

Trevino is an accomplished marketing leader with over 20 years of restaurant industry experience with leading brands, including Burger King, Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill. She thrives on defining and building brands and strategic communication platforms. Known for her ability to innovate, lead and implement initiatives to maximize sales and profits in fast-paced retail environments, Trevino has demonstrated success in identifying untapped opportunities, successfully managing and inspiring teams, and delivering best-in-class work to meet business objectives.

“Red Lobster is an iconic brand. Everyone knows Red Lobster – and of course, the Cheddar Bay Biscuits,” said Trevino. “I grew up in a small Texas border town, and I remember how excited I was when I finally got to go to Red Lobster. Now, years later, I still think the Red Lobster brand is pretty special, which is why I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join this incredible team. I think there’s a great opportunity to tap into the essence of the brand and bring that to life for the next generation.”

In her role as CMO, Trevino will unify and lead the Marketing, Communications, Customer Experience and Loyalty and Culinary Operations teams.

Trevino was recently named to Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2020 Power List. She received her BBA in Management and Marketing from Our Lady of the Lake University and earned her MBA from University of the Incarnate Word.

About Red Lobster Seafood Co.

Red Lobster is the world’s largest and most-loved seafood restaurant company, headquartered in Orlando, Fla. With a proud heritage and an even brighter future, Red Lobster is focused on serving the highest quality, freshly prepared seafood that is traceable, sustainable and responsibly-sourced. To learn more about Red Lobster’s sourcing standards and where the seafood we serve comes from, please visit In 2021, Red Lobster was named to Forbes magazine’s list of America’s Best Large Employers and Newsweek magazine’s list of America’s Best Loyalty Programs. To learn more about Red Lobster, including locations and menu options, please visit or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

View source version at Red Lobster

WOWorks Names Brian Farris Chief Development Officer

Holding Company of Better-For-You Restaurant Concepts Taps New Leadership to Steer Accelerated Growth in 2022

Jan 18, 2022, 12:11 ET

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Jan. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- WOWorks, the holding company of better-for-you restaurant brands, SaladworksFrutta BowlsGarbanzo Mediterranean Fresh and The Simple Greek, announced that Brian Farris has been appointed as the company's Chief Development Officer, effective January 3, 2022. Farris has more than 20 years of operational and development experience in expanding fast-casual restaurants and franchise companies. He most recently served as Brand President for Intelligent Office.

"Brian's extensive experience in operations and development with established fast-casual restaurants and franchise companies is the perfect fit for WOWorks' current stage of accelerated growth. His passion for clean, healthy eating aligns with WOWorks mission to bring fresh, nutritious and flavorful meals to guests everywhere," said Kelly Roddy, CEO of WOWorks. "With a number of newly signed franchise deals this past year, Brian will be driving our team towards building a stronger and faster development process, as well as steering WOWorks explosive growth in non-traditional and traditional verticals."

Farris will report to Roddy and oversee all four of WOWorks' restaurants' franchise development, including franchise sales, real estate procurement and development support. Prior to his role at Intelligent Office, Farris has also served as Vice President of Operations at Schlotzsky's and Vice President of International Operations at Focus Brands. Farris has also led teams in Finance, Marketing, Operations and Development for Quiznos and Boston Market brands.

"I'm excited to join WOWorks during this critical phase of development. In an extremely short amount of time, they have had tremendous success and expansion with co-branded restaurants, ghost kitchens, and grocery retail," said Farris. "I was attracted to WOWorks's family of restaurant brands because of their focus in offering nutrient-dense ingredients with a high level of customization that can meet a variety of dietary needs – from vegan to dairy-free. I look forward to working with Kelly and the rest of the leadership team to help drive their non-traditional and traditional growth strategy forward and create strong support for our franchisee network."

WOWorks franchise owners come from different backgrounds, including existing franchise owners of different brands; varied business ownership backgrounds, such as construction, hotels, and fitness; former professional athletes; and military veterans. The company has franchising opportunities available in 49 states (all states excluding Hawaii) and offers 25 percent off franchise fees for veterans.

If you are interested in owning a WOWorks restaurant brand franchise, visit, and to learn more.


WOWorks was formed in 2020 with a mission to help guests pursue their passions and live their best lives by serving healthy, nutritious and flavorful meals along with first-rate hospitality. Fully owned by Centre Lane Partners, LLC, WOWorks' portfolio consists of: Saladworks, the nation's leading fast-casual salad brand; Frutta Bowls, a unique restaurant franchise serving a variety of superfood bowls, fresh fruit smoothies, protein bites and more; Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, a popular Mediterranean restaurant concept; and most recently, The Simple Greek, which offers a fresh and healthy take on traditional Greek recipes in a fast-casual setting. WOWorks seeks to drive explosive growth across all of its brands through a variety of channels, both traditional and non-traditional, including ghost kitchens, food trucks, grocery retail and more.

View source version at WOWorks

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page