Smashburger, the expanding better-burger restaurant, announced it has added franchise executive Brett Willis to its growing team as senior vice president of franchise sales.
In his new role, Willis will spearhead franchise recruitment initiatives for the company, with a particular focus on developing and executing strategies for non-traditional, domestic, and international unit growth.
Willis possesses more than 17 years of experience working with franchised restaurant and business services concepts in a sales capacity, leading to hundreds of unit openings.
Most recently, Willis led franchise development for Johnny Rockets, where he primarily focused on non-traditional locations. He also led franchise development for Arby’s Restaurant Group.
Prior to Arby’s, Willis worked for Sonic Drive-In as a franchise sales manager and financial analyst. He received his MBA in international business from the Price School of Business at the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a BBA in finance from Oklahoma State University.
“Brett is a well-respected member of the restaurant industry and his significant franchise sales experience with high-growth concepts makes him a very positive, strategic addition to our senior team,” says Dave Prokupek, chairman and CEO of Smashburger.
“His experience specifically on non-traditional unit growth is particularly relevant as we continue to look for new ways to bring Smashburger’s fresh, premium burgers and menu variety to airports and other non-traditional locations such as food courts, college campuses, and casinos,” he says. “We are pleased to welcome Brett to the team.”
Among Willis’ priorities at the outset will be the continued focus on domestic expansion in key markets including Chicago, Miami, Washington, D.C., and Boston, as well as continued expansion internationally in Canada.