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A restaurant industry executive with considerable experience in franchise operations, Taft most recently served as president and CEO of Pizza Inn, a 350-store international chain with sales of more than $250 million. During his tenure, the company reversed a six-year decline in same store sales, outsourced an ineffective in-house distribution network, and repaired the fractured relationship with its franchisees, leading to an unprecedented system remodeling effort.
Prior to his time at Pizza Inn, Taft spent more than a decade with the 640-store, $700 million chain Whataburger, including five years as president and chief operating officer. Under Taft’s leadership, Whataburger posted 46 consecutive quarters of same store sales growth, was named a Texas Treasure by the State Legislature and “Hot Again” by Nation’s Restaurant News.
“Tim has an impressive and well-documented track record of success in the restaurant industry, including a unique ability to forge strong relationships with franchisees and grow franchise operations. Both of these skills will be key focus areas for us as we strive to enhance the Grandy’s and Souper Salad concepts,” says Tom Taylor, chairman of Souper Salad Inc. “We are pleased to have Tim at the helm and look forward to seeing the positive impact he will have on our operations, franchise partners, corporate team, and customers.”
In addition to leading the Souper Salad and Grandy’s chains, Taft will also oversee the Souper Brands franchise network with the goal of growing the network of franchisees.
Taft added: “I have personal experience with both of these restaurant concepts and am excited about the potential they have for growth. “We will focus our teams and culture on operational excellence, and by blending our passion and experience with the support of our financial partners, we will continue to accelerate the growth of both Souper Salad and Grandy’s.”