Burger King parent Restaurant Brands International announced Wednesday that former Domino’s CEO Patrick Doyle will serve as executive chairman, a big step in the global company’s ongoing growth plans.
As part of the move, Doyle agreed to buy 500,000 shares, which equals $30 million. He will hold this investment for five years.
Doyle led Domino’s for eight years, leading the chain to 29 straight quarters of same-store sales increases, systemwide sales growth of $5.6 billion to $13 billion, and more than a 2x bump in home market franchisee profitability. The executive also helped create $11 billion in shareholder value and grew share price from $12 in March 2010 to $271 in June 2018. Before becoming CEO of Domino’s, he served as president of the U.S. business, ran corporate stores, oversaw the international segment, and served as senior vice president of marketing.
The industry veteran is joining a company in the midst of building back Tim Hortons Canada and Burger King U.S., expanding Popeyes’ footprint at a historic rate, and continuing to find the strengths of Firehouse Subs, which it bought for $1 billion in 2021.
“I love the restaurant industry. These are four exceptional brands with real opportunities for accelerated growth,” Doyle said in a statement. “Working closely with each of the brands’ franchisees, with Jose, the whole RBI team, and the Board of Directors, I am confident we can create one of the most compelling growth stories in the industry.”
The biggest objective on RBI’s horizon is Burger King’s $400 million “Reclaim the Flame” turnaround strategy, first announced in September. The dollar amount includes a $200 million remodel program, a $50 million refresh investment, $250 million in advertising, and $30 million in digital infrastructure. The plan is well underway, starting with the chain changing its classic “Have it Your Way” tagline to “You Rule,” to cater to a younger demographic. The majority of franchisees are onboard, too. The refresh investment features a dollar-for-dollar matching contribution, and when Burger King opened applications, the program filled in less than a week.
Meanwhile, Tim Hortons Canada saw same-store sales increase 11.1 percent in the third quarter year-over-year and 5 percent against 2019. Popeyes, which sits at 3,928 stores globally (2,858 domestically and 1,070 internationally), has built a net of more than 650 units since being acquired by RBI in 2017. The chicken brand is on pace for a record development year, fueled by expansion in North America, Turkey, Spain, India, U.K., and Brazil. Firehouse’s U.S. comps grew 2.2 percent in Q3, and its digital sales mixed 33 percent.
“I’m excited to work closely with Patrick and our leadership team to build the most loved restaurant brands in the world. This includes our intention to rapidly accelerate growth in the company and deliver on plans that result in exceptional service for our guests; and excellent returns for our franchisees and for all shareholders,” RBI CEO Jose Cil said in a statement.
Doyle will receive a one-time equity packaging of 2 million stock options at fair market value that will vest in five years, 500,000 restricted share units that will vest over five years, and 750,000 performance share units that will vest in five and a half years. The performance share units will be contingent on share price compounding annually at least 6 percent in the next five years. Bigger payouts will be made for a 10 percent and 15 percent compound annual return.
Daniel Schwartz, former executive chairman and co-managing partner of 3G capital, a long-term shareholder of RBI, will continue serving on the board of directors. As will Alex Behring, co-founder and co-managing partner of 3G Capital.