Muscle Maker, Inc.’s chief executive Robert E. Morgan resigned for personal reasons, the company announced, and Kevin J. Mohan is stepping in as interim president.

“We thank Bob for his many years of service to Muscle Maker Grill. We wish him all the best and we are currently in discussions with several potential CEO candidates with extensive industry experience,” Mohan said in a statement.

Mohan, who was vice president of capital markets for American Restaurant Holdings, added that the company has registered its common stock with the SEC and is now a public company. In late March it elected to terminate a proposed mini IPO and register as an over-the-counter stock instead. The IPO qualified in December and the company, which hoped to raise as much as $20 million through a Regulation A+ offering, ended up selling just 44,153 shares at $3.25 per share, or $143,497. The brand had 53 locations earlier this year and said it was closing seven company stores to focus on military units.

“We intend to apply for quotation of our common stock on the OTC Markets in the near future. Within the next twelve months, we will be strategically streamlining our operations, which has included closing seven of our non-military corporate stores so that we can focus exclusively on our military buildout,” Mohan said. “We will also continue to work closely with our franchisees both domestically and internationally. We expect that this calculated shift should have a significant cost savings impact on our company going forward as we focus on achieving profitability.”

Muscle Maker, founded in 1995 and known for its fitness-inspired menu, also announced that it added 10 military locations to its pipeline and signed nine new franchise agreements in the last 90 days.

The franchise agreements represent a mix of single and multi-unit deals, the company said, including plans to open 10 locations throughout Hawaii, 10 in and around Virginia Beach, Virginia, five additional locations in the greater Houston area, and one on Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska.

Recent franchise agreements include:

  • Atlanta, Georgia (2 franchise groups)
  • The Hawaiian Islands
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Houston, Texas
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Katy, Texas
  • Rice Village, Texas
  • Kuwait

Muscle Maker said the following locations are coming soon:

  • Fort Benning, Georgia (second location)
  • Fort Benning, Georgia (third location—food truck)
  • Fort Sill, Oklahoma
  • Fort Bragg, North Carolina
  • Offutt (Offutt Air Force Base), Nebraska
  • MacDill Air Force Base, Florida
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Chesapeake, Virginia
  • Fountain Valley, California
  • Ventnor, New Jersey
  • Norfolk, Virginia

Mohan added some details about the military expansion.

“As it relates to our military business, I will be working closely with our Chief Development Officer Pat Chiacchia. Pat is a former Navy Pilot who has worked with the Army and Air Force Exchange since 2001 and has been a key part of our military expansion to date. In addition, he has been building restaurants since 1980,” he said. “As we shift our focus solely to new corporate stores for the military along with our franchise operations we believe that Pat will be instrumental as we look to increase our footprint.”

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