AFC Enterprises, Inc., the franchisor and operator of Popeyes® Chicken & Biscuits, today announced that its board of irectors has appointed Kenneth Keymer, the current President of Popeyes, as the Company’s chief executive officer effective September 1, 2005. Keymer will succeed Frank Belatti, who will continue as chairman of the board of directors.
Keymer, age 57, is a 25-year restaurant industry veteran who served as president of Popeyes for just over a year. Since joining Popeyes, Keymer has been instrumental in driving the brand’s improved performance including positive comparable same-store sales, building a new management team to execute and accelerate the brand’s growth initiatives, reducing development costs for new units by over 10 percent .and re-imaging expenses by approximately 30 percent, and improving the pipeline predictability for new restaurant openings.
“Ken is a highly regarded leader with an impressive track record of growing brands,” says Frank Bellati. “We have great confidence in his ability to lead the company into the future.”
Prior to Popeyes, Keymer served as co-chief executive officer and board member of Noodles & Company. From 1996 to 2002, he held the title of president and chief operating officer at Sonic Corporation and was a member of the board of directors. He also held senior positions at Taco Bell, Boston Chicken, and Perkins Family Restaurants.
“I look forward to working closely with Frank and the board to continue making Popeyes a highly differentiated brand with significant growth opportunities,” says Keymer.