Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers announced that Randy Simon was named CEO & president of the company he cofounded more than 15 years ago with his brother Bill, father Freddy, and business partner, Scott Redler.
“I have enjoyed the past 15 years of our formation and growth, and I’m thrilled that I am now in the position to devote even more of my time to Freddy’s,” Simon says. “Completing the sale and transfer of our 34 Panera locations this summer has freed me from the responsibilities that I was entrusted with by my Panera partners. I will now be able to focus singularly on the future of Freddy’s as we move into the next chapter.”
Simon has a long and accomplished history in the restaurant industry. A CPA, Simon graduated from Wichita State University and initially gained experience in public accounting. In 1974, he partnered with Howard Wilkins to form Maverick Development Company. Wilkins and Simon launched a Pizza Hut franchise that grew to 42 locations in Texas and New Mexico. A decade later, Simon assumed the role of president and chairman of the board until the sale of this entity in 2007. Maverick also developed and sold more than 30 Rent-A-Center locations in the Chicago area from 1985 to 1992. At that time, Maverick turned its attention to Panera, jumping in as the second franchise group of the fledgling concept and participating in its record-setting nationwide growth with locations throughout Kansas and Missouri. In July, Flynn Restaurant Group closed on the purchase of Maverick’s Panera Cafes.
“Over the past couple of months, I’ve enjoyed increased exposure to our Freddy’s support team and franchise family,” Simon says. “They’ve provided me time to transition out of the last 24 years in the Panera business, and the space to patch the holes left from the loss of my brother, Bill, Freddy’s original CEO, who passed away last December. Bill really loved Freddy’s. He had a profound ability to turn challenges into advancement opportunities. He left us in a great position and we are going to build on the foundation he worked so hard to create.”
Freddy’s opened its first location in Wichita, Kansas, offering a unique combination of cooked-to-order steakburgers and Chicago dogs, along with signature desserts prepared with fresh, premium frozen custard. Today, 274 Freddy's restaurants serve a total of 30 states across the nation. This year, Freddy’s was named for a fifth time to Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list (ranked No. 41), and has, for the fourth year in a row, been included as one of the top 10 on Franchise Times magazine's Fast & Serious list.