Global Franchise Group, the strategic brand management company and franchisor of Great American Cookies, Hot Dog on a Stick, Pretzelmaker, Marble Slab Creamery/MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream & Treatery, and Round Table Pizza is poised for fast-paced growth with the promotion of Jenn Johnston to chief brand officer and president of Franchise Operations and the addition of restaurant industry veteran Jim Parrish to chief operating officer.
In addition to the leadership advancements, the organization has created two new departments—the GFG Innovation Center (IC) and Brand Integration & Corporate Services to support expansion, future acquisitions and continued success.
“This is a thrilling and defining time for Global Franchise Group and these changes position GFG to better service, support and grow our franchise and corporate operations,” says Chris Dull, president and CEO of Global Franchise Group. “With strong strategic leadership, internal resources and shared services, we are ready to champion the next phase of success for our growing company as we look to acquire additional brands under our portfolio.”
For a decade, Johnston served as both chief marketing officer and chief operations officer before being promoted to chief brand officer and president of Franchise Operations. She is a key principal in the organization with a reputation for strategic EBITDA growth (organic and through acquisition), building brands, and achieving strong same store sales results by analyzing consumer research and trends, and garnering respect with long-standing GFG franchisees. In her new role she will focus on building the franchising side of GFG’s business, as well as generating new revenue streams through licensing, merchandising, and e-commerce.
Parrish has extensive experience in restaurant leadership most recently as COO of Hooters of America where he supported delivering nine consecutive quarters of positive comp sales. Prior to Hooters, he served as senior vice president and COO of Friendly’s Ice Cream, EVP and COO of Church’s Chicken and Division vice president for Yum Brands where he provided leadership for 600 Pizza Hut restaurants. As chief operating officer of GFG he will be primarily focused on company store operations and leading the organization through Round Table Pizza Development Corporation (RTDC) revitalization and future development of Hot Dog on a Stick.
The company promoted longtime GFG veterans Allison Lauenstein (former executive vice president of Marble Slab Creamery and Pretzelmaker) to lead the Innovation Center as chief innovation officer and David Kaiser (former executive vice president of Great American Cookies) to head the Brand Integration & Corporate Services team as executive vice president. The Innovation Center highlights GFG’s commitment to new product innovation through strategic leadership. The center will assist in growing GFG’s brands by leveraging research to develop new products through a consumer-centric lens and testing for sales potential. The new Brand Integration & Corporate Services team was created to ensure the shared services platform is always poised for company growth and future brand acquisitions.
Global Franchise Group’s mission is to champion brands and the people who build them. It builds great brands that connect people with craveable products and memorable experiences. GFG currently supports more than 1,500 franchised and corporate stores across all brands located in 16 countries and has system wide sales close to $1 billion.