Personnel Updates

• Arby’s Restaurant Group (104) has appointed Patrick Schwing as Chief Marketing Officer. He is succeeding former CMO Jim Taylor who was promoted to President last year.

• Denny’s Corporation (63) has promoted Mark Wolfinger to President and his role of CFO will be taken over by Robert Verostek.

• FOCUS Brands Inc. (58) has named Jim Holthouser CEO and he will succeed Steve DeSutter.

• GPS Hospitality, LLC (28) has promoted Michael Lippert to the role of President.

• Marco’s Franchising LLC (34) has promoted Steve Seyferth to the role of Chief Experience Officer and Senior VP. Seyferth was previously the Chief Marketing Officer and he will retain those responsibilities in his new role.

• Newk’s Franchise Company has named Joe Pate COO.

• Pizza Hut Inc. has named Kevin Hochman as interim President and he will work alongside global CEO Artie Starrs. He will continue his role as President at KFC Corporation.

• Romacorp Inc. (26) has appointed John Brisco as CEO and President. He succeeds Bradley Scher.

• Roti Mediterranean Grill (26) has appointed Justin Seamonds as CEO.

• Starbucks Corporation (501) has promoted Brady Brewer to Chief Marketing Officer where he will succeed Matthew Ryan.

• Taco Bell Corp. (51) has promoted Julie Masino to President of the International division. She replaces Liz Williams.

• Union Square Hospitality Group (55) has appointed Rani Yadav as the Chief Marketing Officer and Patti Simpson as the new Chief People Officer.

• Whataburger Restaurants LLC (43) has appointed Janelle Sykes as CFO and Sylvester Johnson as Chief Data Officer and Chief Analytics Officer.


Industry Insight

• The Wendy’s Company launched its breakfast offering at all of its nationwide stores this week. The company is hoping to gain ground on its competition in the growing fast food breakfast category.


Financial Focus

• CraftWorks Holdings has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company currently has a stalking horse bidder in Fortress Credit and has said that the company’s franchised units will not be part of the sale and its company owned restaurants will remain open.


Real Estate

• A&W Restaurants Inc. has opened its newest location in Tonopah, NV. The restaurant is located inside of the Mizpah Club casino and next to the Mizpah Hotel.

• Blaze Pizza LLC has opened a new restaurant in Southfield, MI.

• Dat Dog is looking to open six new locations in Florida this year. The gourmet hot dog chain is targeting Tampa, St. Petersburg, Fort Meyers, and Naples for expansion and is currently seeking local franchisees.

• Taco John’s International Inc. has opened a new franchised location in Stevens Point, WI.