Four Foods Group, a restaurant investment, development, operations, and management company founded in 2008 and based in American Fork, announced Wednesday that Shauna K. Smith has been named president of the company. In addition to co-founding FFG, Smith served as the company’s Chief Merchandising Officer for 10 years.

“Over the past few years, Shauna’s influence and responsibilities have continued to increase at FFG. She is a leading force in driving company culture, which has been increasingly important as we’ve acquired a number of new restaurant brands,” says Four Foods Group CEO Andrew K. Smith. “Shauna’s tremendous talent will touch every aspect of the business as we grow. I am fortunate to have her as a strong and inspiring partner in both my personal and professional life.”

Since co-founding FFG in 2008, Smith was directly involved with day-to-day operations of the company’s first Kneaders Bakery and Café restaurant. After operating in every capacity of the restaurant on a day-to-day basis for the first year, she began directing all of FFG’s buying and merchandising of the retail operations inside the company’s 50 Kneaders restaurants. As FFG broadened its scope through the acquisition of 71 Little Caesar’s restaurants in the Southeast, plus acquisitions of R&R Barbeque, Swig, Mo‘Bettahs and the Soda Shop brands, Shauna has played a pivotal role in welcoming new employees into the popular Four Foods Group culture.

“I am excited to bring my dedication and passion for this amazing organization into this new role and to maintain the incredible positive momentum we have rolling at Four Foods Group,” Smith says. “Our best days are ahead of us, and I have every confidence that our team will continue representing incredible food and restaurant concepts by systematically creating great experiences for foodies and families all over the country.”

As president of Four Foods Group, Smith becomes one of the most influential food and beverage executives in the U.S., as FFG was again listed No. 85 in the Top 200 Restaurant Operators in the nation. As a businesswoman in a male-dominated industry, she understands the opportunity and responsibility associated with this role.

“I couldn’t be happier for our company that Shauna is stepping into this expanded role,” says Four Foods COO Josh Boshard. “She has a sharp business mind and has been brilliant in creating the atmosphere of our restaurants—something we believe has set us apart. As we continue to grow, Shauna’s steady hand will lead FFG into many new, up-and-coming restaurant brands.”

“With so many positive experiences in this business with intelligent, dedicated women, I would submit that there aren’t nearly enough women in leadership positions in our industry or business in general. With the conversation surrounding Indra Nooyi’s announcement of her retirement from Pepsi and a recent study that reveals that women in business leadership in our own state is dropping, I am proud that FFG is a company that champions women at all levels. More than 58 percent of our workforce and 47 percent of our company leadership are women. By adding my voice and position to this effort, I would hope to see these numbers grow.”

Smith will lead a team of more than 5,500 FFG employees running 154 restaurants in locations across the United States. FFG was named the third fastest-growing restaurant operator in 2017 by Franchise Times, is a multi-time winner of “Best Companies to Work For,” and currently holds a 4.9/5.0 Glassdoor rating. Last month, FFG was also listed in the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies in the nation for the seventh consecutive time.

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