Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) announced leadership changes in Smashburger, a business it fully acquired December 2018.

Carl Bachmann, who brings in three decades of experience in managing restaurant chains such as Bertucci’s and Ruby Tuesday, resulting in increased revenues and efficiencies, has been named President of Smashburger. Bachmann joined Smashburger two and half years ago and started out as VP for Operations for the East and then was appointed chief operating officer by August 2017. As its COO, Bachmann was able to effect improvements in the stores that resulted in record highs in terms of food quality and speed of service, including 80 percent on guest experience scores. With a strong track record as a successful restaurant executive and entrepreneur, Bachmann is well-positioned to take on his new role.  

Scott Johnson, a seasoned and multi-awarded marketing professional, joined Smashburger this August as vice president and Head of Marketing of Smashburger. Johnson comes with over 20 years of experience in restaurants such as Arby’s, Outback Steakhouse, Bravo Restaurant Group, and most recently BurgerFi—where his experience included delivering on industry leading sales growth and business turnarounds.  

Charlie Sayre, who joined Smashburger in July 2016 is now appointed as vice president and Head of Finance of Smashburger. Prior to joining Smashburger, Sayre had worked as a financial and investment analyst for different companies and played a crucial role in the international go-to-market strategies of World Wrestling Entertainment and the mergers and acquisitions valuation of Mooreland Partners. As Head of Finance, Sayre is responsible for ensuring the brand’s sustainable profit model in the years to come.

The Smashburger leadership team and other JFC brands in the North American market will be guided under the leadership of Rowel Vijandre, president and Country Business Group Head of JFC North America. Vijandre was previously president of Chowking, one of the biggest restaurant chains of JFC.  Chowking delivered double-digit growth for the past three years and its highest sales value and market share, making it the fastest growing brand in the Philippines and overtaking KFC.  Prior to JFC, Vijandre led FMCG companies such as Johnson & Johnson Vietnam, tripling its business in three years and making it the fastest growing FMCG company in Vietnam. He then turned around L’Oreal Philippines from double-digit negative to double-digit positive sales on top of re-engineering its cost structure achieving sustainable profit gain coming from profit loss.

“The synergy of homegrown and external talents at the helm of Smashburger with proven track records, in conjunction with integrating synergies across the JFC Group of Companies, will power up the organization and enable it to achieve its business goals,” says Ernesto Tanmantiong, chief executive officer of JFC. “We are very excited to see Smashburger reach its full potential with this new leadership team now steering the company.”

“With the leadership and industry experience of Carl, Scott and Charlie, and the rest of the team working together, we are confident that Smashburger will move closer towards achieving its goal of becoming the No. 1 Fast Casual Better Burger Brand in North America,” says Vijandre, JFC Country Business Group Head for North America.

“With these leadership changes, I am very confident in the success of Smashburger, and likewise with the long-term success and profitability of our business in North America,” says Tony Tan Caktiong, Chairman and Founder of JFC. 

Jollibee Foods Corporation is one of the largest and fastest growing Asian restaurant companies in the world, with 14 brands and over 4,500 stores across 21 countries. JFC has turned several acquired businesses into stronger, more profitable and faster growing market leaders. These include Chowking, Mang Inasal, Greenwich and Red Ribbon in the Philippines, Highlands Coffee in Vietnam, and Yonghe King & Hong Zhuang Yuan in China. They are the key drivers of JFC’s sales and profit growth now and in the years ahead. 

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