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A new year for Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, a division of AFC Enterprises, Inc. brings a strategic focus on new opportunities while remaining true to its culinary heritage. Menu enhancements, restaurant development and re-imaging, new creative marketing, and improved restaurant operations are a few of the key initiatives that will drive the growth of the New Orleans-style brand in 2005. Several new executives have been added to the Popeyes Team to lead these initiatives.
Directing Popeyes’ brand fundamentals and company image is president Ken Keymer who says, “…Popeyes has great food, hands down some of the most flavorful menu items in the quick-serve arena. Our team plans to bring that flavor superiority to more consumers with our renewed focus on restaurant development, operations, marketing, and our most important asset, our food.”
Development of new restaurants and re-imaging of existing restaurants will be led by Popeyes’ new chief development officer Jim Lyons. A veteran of the industry, he is responsible for all new domestic company and franchise Popeyes restaurant development as well as franchise recruitment and new business development for domestic markets.
Improving overall restaurant operations to enhance the customer’s experience is another focus for the company and the charge of Popeyes’ new vice president of field service, Bob Melberth. He is responsible for providing strategic and tactical leadership for field services, consulting, and overall support to Popeyes independent franchise operators.
“To ensure we are creating and introducing the most delicious menu items possible, we’ve created the new role of vice president of menu development and have invited accomplished R&D executive Kirk Waisner to tackle this exciting and important role,” says Keymer. Waisner’s responsibilities include leading the culinary team in developing and testing new products that support Popeyes’ menu strategy; determining recommended consumer pricing and food cost for products in conjunction with marketing; and directing the design and execution of consumer packaging for all menu items.
Popeyes also hired brand marketing veteran Rob Calderin as chief marketing officer. In this role, Calderin will have overall responsibility for driving Popeyes brand positioning to broaden reach and appeal to a wider variety of consumers.
“With our Popeyes team fully staffed and in place, we will continue the work we started in 2004 to focus on brand consistency, improving the new restaurant pipeline, improving unit economics and driving operations executions forward in 2005,”says Keymer.