Golden Tree Restaurants announced it has named Jim Stevens as the new president of Golden Chick. Stevens will take over the 52-year-old brand after spending one year as a Golden Chick franchisee. Mark Parmerlee, the former president, will continue as chairman of the board and as president of Golden Tree Restaurants, including The Jalapeno Tree, Fireside Pies, Texadelphia, JC’s Burgers, Heff’s Burgers, Lola’s and Happy Taco brands.
“I purchased Golden Chick 30 years ago, and I am excited to welcome Jim Stevens as the new president,” says Parmerlee. “Jim has served as an active franchisee for the brand, and with his impressive resume and dedication to our culture, I believe he will further the vision and growth of Golden Chick.”
As a Golden Chick franchisee with five locations, Stevens is no stranger to the restaurant industry. He began his career at YUM! Brands, working as a general manager, area and market coach for KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. He went on to become the region president for Arby’s, president of Captain D’s and executive vice president of Checker’s Drive In. He most recently served as president of Yoshinoya America, where he achieved same store sales growth. As a multi-unit Golden Chick franchisee, Stevens opened three locations as president of the holding company, Prosperity Brands LLC, and manages six total Golden Chick locations.
“I am very excited to lead Golden Chick into the next phase of development and growth,” said Stevens. “As a franchisee, I have a unique perspective on what it will take to grow our brand beyond 500 locations, which will, in turn, give our franchisees and employees opportunities to grow both professionally and financially.”
Stevens new position starts immediately and he plans to focus on growing the people and culture, sales and profits with a goal to expand Golden Chick to 500 locations by 2030.
The Golden Chick restaurant chain has more than 180 locations throughout Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.