AFC Enterprises, Inc. announced Thursday that Chris Elliott has been named president of Cinnabon®. Elliott has served as interim president since last June. His promotion is effective immediately and gives him responsibility for all operations for Cinnabon worldwide.
“Chris’ five years with AFC Enterprises, combined with his extensive brand building and operations background in the restaurant industry, makes him a great fit for this position,” said Dick Holbrook, president and chief operating officer, AFC Enterprises. “His ability to lead our franchise community and identify new growth opportunities for Cinnabon were key factors in the decision.”
A foodservice veteran, Elliott boasts a successful track record of 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry. He began his career at Cinnabon in 2001 as chief operating officer and is credited for a re- merchandising program that better positioned the brand to compete in the competitive retail environment. Additionally, Elliott led an initiative to expand the menu offerings and improve the brand’s equipment technology. He also improved the organization’s operations talent and leveraged company resources by restructuring key departments. Elliott played a key role in the implementation of Cinnabon’s conversion strategy, which transfers ownership of company bakeries to new and existing franchisees.
After assuming the role of interim president, he lead the company through a resource reallocation program, which aligned the company’s corporate function to better support key sales building functions such as research and development and franchise partner support. Elliott has also been responsible for the implementation of new distribution channels and alternative venues for the brand.
Prior to joining Cinnabon, he served at Cinnabon’s sister company, Church’s Chicken(TM) as its chief operating officer. After joining Church’s in 1997, he led the design of a new high efficiency restaurant prototype that resulted in a 20% lower initial investment. Additionally, Elliott implemented design changes in the new restaurant operating system that resulted in a 40% reduction in implementation costs, improved product quality and speed of service.
Prior to joining Church’s Chicken, he was president and chief operating officer of Morrison’s, Inc. Elliott also served as senior director of operations for Pizza Hut, Inc.