Industry News | September 6, 2012

Freebirds Appoints New VP of Franchise Development

Freebirds World Burrito, the fast-casual burrito joint with the rock 'n' roll attitude, has named Chris Cheeck vice president of franchise development.

In this newly created position, Cheek will work to find selective franchisee partners across the country.

Freebirds intends to have no more than two dozen operators in the U.S. that exclusively own their preferred geographic territory. These territories will need to sufficiently support a minimum of 10 locations and will average closer to 40.

This past march, Freebirds signed its first franchise partner, FB Midwest Development. The franchisee opened its first location in Mission, Kansas, in July and will open three additional restaurants by the end of the year.

"We aren't looking for a lot of franchisees; we just want great ones that can help us build our brand," says Freebirds President Jim Mizes. "Franchising is an important part of our growth, and we are confident Chris can help us find the right partners."

Cheek recently served as the vice president of franchise development for Le Duff America, with traditional and nontraditional franchising responsibility for Breugger's bakery-cafes, Timothy's World Coffee, Michel's Bakery Cafes, la Madeleine Country French Cafe, and Brioche Doree.

The Le Duff America portfolio of brands represents one of the largest bakery-cafe organizations in North America.

In the past five years, Cheek added numerous new franchise commitments for Bruegger's, Timothy's World Coffee, and Michel's Bakery Cafe.

Prior to Le Duff, Cheek served as the vice president for franchise development for Bear Rock Franchise Systems. Cheek holds a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University.

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