Industry News | July 16, 2013

Huddle House Brings On Ex- Corner Bakery Exec as CDO

Huddle House, the nearly 400-unit restaurant franchise known for its comfort food and value pricing, named Jonathan Benjamin as its new chief development officer.

Benjamin, a veteran sales and franchising executive with more than 20 years of leadership experience, will spearhead expanded unit growth in underserved markets and will play in integral role in improving Huddle House facilities.

With a proven track record of exceptional performance and sales activity, Benjamin most recently held the title of vice president of franchise sales with Corner Bakery Café. It was here that Benjamin created a new franchise sales department, and then rapidly implemented new sales systems and processes that led to record-breaking franchise growth for the brand. 

Prior to his tenure at Corner Bakery Café, Benjamin was instrumental in leading the growth of several brands of industry-leading companies within the portfolios of Wyndham Worldwide and Global Hyatt.

“Jonathan’s knowledge, track record, and passion for the franchise industry is what sets him apart from others in the sector, and his experience translates perfectly to our present and long-term needs,” says Huddle House CEO Michael Abt. “Jonathan comes to us at a time when Huddle House is currently positioned for major growth in the Southeast and Texas, and with his help, we’ll make the brand a relevant driving force in these regions and beyond for decades to come.”

Benjamin joins Huddle House at a pivotal time as the 24-hour, family-friendly restaurant chain is expected to add 135 new franchised restaurants over the next four years.

Moreover, Huddle House is in the midst of remodeling existing restaurants to incorporate a new prototype design that features a signature tower entrance, plush seating, and contemporary colors. Redesigned restaurants have already experienced significant sales increases of 15 percent or more.

To expedite the upgrades, the company recently offered a $25,000 financial incentive to the first 100 franchise partners who complete a remodel by July 31, 2014.

The decision to name Benjamin Huddle House’s new CDO comes on the heels of other recent leadership changes for the Atlanta-based company. Huddle House received a boost in October 2012 after naming Michael Abt, an industry veteran with extensive experience building out brands, as its new CEO.

Huddle House also recently appointed longtime Tim Horton’s executive Tyrone Counts as COO to build on the company’s growth momentum and improve overall sales and profitability.