Newk’s Eatery announced the hire of Keith Moody as territory director of franchise operations for the fast-casual restaurant concept. Moody has been in franchise restaurant operations for more than 20 years and will apply his skills and knowledge to assist in Newk’s rapid expansion.
“The driving force behind me coming to work at Newk’s was the food, which is outrageously good,” Moody says. “I know that when people try it, they will return again and again.”
As territory director of franchise operations, Moody is forming a group of internal business consultants who will interact with the company’s various franchise groups to ensure brand and franchisee success. In just two months, Moody has already collaborated with nearly every Newk’s franchisee on successful growth plans.
“Newk’s franchisees are a very enthusiastic group of people who understand that they are part of a company geared for growth and wild success,” Moody says. “There’s a level of excitement in Newk’s support center base and in the field about expanding the Newk’s brand that is unmatched at any other restaurant of which I’ve been a part.”
His position at Newk’s requires extensive traveling, but that is something with which Moody, who refers to himself as a “road warrior,” has become familiar throughout the past 20 years. Originally from St. Louis, with some time spent in California, Moody and his wife now live in Birmingham, Alabama, and have plans to relocate to Jackson, Mississippi, where Newk’s is headquartered.
“Things change so fast in this business, and I know I can have the most impact being on the ground in the restaurants, so I plan to be very hands on in my role at Newk’s,” Moody says.
Starting out in the competitive radio industry during college, Moody opted to enter an executive training program shortly after graduating with his Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Missouri. He ended up in the food industry due to the management opportunities available.
For the past 10 years, Moody has been the franchise area director and then division director of franchising with Krystal Restaurants. In the latter role, Moody oversaw 140 franchise restaurants. From 1992 to 2003, Moody worked for F.M. Food Management in San Jose, California, as the owner of three Burger Kings and two Original Pancake Houses, leading new restaurant development and daily operations. Prior to that, Moody rose through the ranks of Burger King Corporation, from general manager to area training supervisor to company district manager to franchise sales and service manager.
“I know Keith’s experience with rapidly-growing franchise brands and his ability to see things from an operator perspective will be an asset to the Newk’s team,” says Alan Wright, vice president of franchise operations and marketing, who recruited Moody.