La Madeleine Country French Café has announced a plan to double the size of its U.S. footprint in select markets – a strategic growth initiative that will blend an equal split of both corporate and franchise café expansion.
This announcement comes amid an already aggressive la Madeleine growth phase, which includes recent corporate openings in the Austin and DFW, Texas, markets. Plus, the brand’s franchise and licensing initiative has resulted in three additional openings thus far in 2014 – Lubbock, Texas (la Madeleine’s first franchise location), El Paso, Texas, and the Atlanta International Airport.
Additionally, the brand has several openings on the horizon. This summer, a trio of new corporate-owned cafés is slated for both the Texas and Washington, D.C. markets. And, la Madeleine has a collection of additional franchise locations in its development pipeline, including new bakery cafés planned for Colorado.
“Momentum is on our side,” says John Cahill, chief operating officer for la Madeleine. “There is a buzz surrounding the brand. We are clicking with consumers and restaurant franchise groups alike. The brand is in a class unto itself and it is positioned perfectly for robust expansion. The talented leadership team we have in place is guiding the company into an exciting timeframe.”
Reflecting the growth, la Madeleine has made a series of moves and a key executive-level hire. As part of the formation of the core executive team, la Madeleine has hired a new vice president of marketing and rewarded four individuals from within.
“La Madeleine prides itself on assembling great leadership teams – from our restaurants to our home office. With the right people in place we will continue to achieve extraordinary levels of operational excellence and growth,” says Jim Vinz, president and co-CEO of Le Duff America, the parent company of la Madeleine Country French Café. “It is clear that the sky is the limit for la Madeleine, and this latest round of hires and promotions will continue to allow us to raise the bar in the fast-casual segment of the restaurant industry.”
In more detail, the la Madeleine leadership team hire and promotions include:
Lisken Kastalanych, Vice President of Marketing
Kastalanych joins the company after earning a reputation in a similar role at the internationally growing restaurant chain Pollo Campero. Prior to that, she served in marketing leadership roles, both domestically and internationally for more than a decade, at Pizza Hut – YUM Restaurants. Kastalanych has solidified herself as a dynamic marketing executive experienced in an array of brand management responsibilities, including marketing communications, market research, creative, menu development and concept development. Her position at la Madeleine includes oversight of marketing on all levels, as well leading a host of brand growth initiatives.
“This is an opportunity to cherish,” Kastalanych says. “La Madeleine is a brand unlike any other, with a team of leaders in place that has set the brand on a fantastic course. I share in their vision for the concept and look forward to building upon the strategic direction la Madeleine is heading.”
Sam Kaufman, Vice President of Finance
Promoted after more than five years as senior director of financial planning for la Madeleine, Kaufman has a wealth of restaurant industry knowledge. He began working in financial roles at restaurant companies nearly 15 years ago and has routinely advanced his position and responsibilities every step of the way.
Joe Pate, Regional Vice President of Operations
Pate has served in multiple operations roles with the brand for more than 17 years. Pate began his career at la Madeleine as a café manager and steadily climbed the ranks throughout the years, most recently holding the post of senior director of operations.
Todd Peacock, Regional Vice President of Operations
Another example of a la Madeleine team member who has proven to consistently earn new roles and responsibilities, Todd Peacock joined la Madeleine as café manager more than 17 years ago. Now, regional vice president of operations, he is overseeing restaurant performance for the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, and Louisiana markets.
Ty Fichtner, Senior Director of Franchise Operations
Fichtner returns to la Madeleine in a new role as the senior director of franchise operations, a position of growing importance given the brand’s expanding franchise portfolio. A 35-plus year restaurant industry veteran, Fichtner most recently served as director of franchise operations for Brioche Dorée in North America, a quick serve café concept also within the Le Duff America family.