Smashburger, the rapidly expanding better burger restaurant known for its fresh, smashed-to-order burgers, announced that Michael J. Nolan, who was previously overseeing franchising and development at Corner Bakery, has been appointed to the position of executive vice president–chief development officer. Nolan will oversee the company's development (real estate, construction, design, facilities), franchise sales, and IT departments effective immediately.
"Michael's extensive experience in successfully growing national and international brands will be invaluable to Smashburger as we continue to grow our footprint across the country and internationally," says Scott Crane, Smashburger's president and CEO. "Having served on the Smashburger board of advisors for the prior four years Mike already possesses a keen understanding of the tremendous opportunity and challenges facing this great brand. We're confident he will be an integral member of Smashburger's core executive team and will be instrumental in advancing Smashburger's operating platform, franchising program, restaurant development processes, and enhanced Information Technology services that will be critical to the brand's success as we continue our rapid expansion across the globe."
Michael has more than 25 years of experience in restaurant development strategy and executive level management. Before serving as Corner Bakery's executive vice president and chief development officer, Nolan held executive level management positions at Bloomin' Brands, Inc. where he oversaw the restaurant development strategy for more than 1,500 locations across 26 countries. He also held several executive positions at Panera Bread Company where he led the growth strategies for twelve years, taking that brand from 250 units to more than 1,500.
"The Smashburger brand has seen incredible growth over the past several years. They have clearly proven themselves to be the leader in the Better Burger category," Nolan says. "I'm incredibly excited to bring my background and expertise to partner with this proven team."
Smashburger currently has over 350 restaurants across the globe and expects to grow its unit count by approximately 20–25 percent in 2016. In 2015, the company sold more than 187 franchise units, making it the largest year in the company's history of franchise sales.