Spicy Pickle Franchising Inc. announced the appointment of Peter Wright as its new chief development officer.

Wright is now responsible for franchise sales, real estate, architecture, construction, and equipment. Prior to joining Spicy Pickle, Wright had more than 13 years' experience in franchising and licensing in both traditional and nontraditional development channels in the U.S., Canada, and other international markets.

His experience includes posts with several prominent brands such as The Counter, a specialty burger concept, Panera Bread Co., and Starbucks Coffee Co. His franchising experience primarily consisted of negotiating development agreements with experienced multiunit restaurant operators. Wright's licensing experience included brand development in airports, colleges and universities, business and health care locations, convention and special event venues, and hotels. Additionally, Wright previously worked for Equity Office Properties, a national real estate investment trust; Think! Inc., a negotiation strategy consultancy; and Xerox Corp. He received a BA degree from Loyola University, Chicago, and completed programs at Harvard University's Division of Continuing Education: Professional Development.

"Peter is a welcome and necessary addition to our management team,” CEO Mark Laramie said in making the announcement. “His proven performance in multiunit and nontraditional development should help us accelerate our growth plan."

In other news, the company reported it has signed a contract with a new franchisee in Minot, North Dakota. This franchisee will be doing business as Nodak Spickle LLC, owned and operated by a 26-year resident of Minot. The franchisee is seeking a site.

The company also reported it has taken several actions to improve its guests' experiences in the Spicy Pickle restaurants. It has increased the meat amount in all of its sandwiches; is now serving orders on upscale white plates instead of traditional plastic baskets; and is introducing a new, exclusive bread formulation in its stores. In addition, bread will now be baked fresh daily in all stores instead of at night in its commissary, as it was previously done for half of its stores. In the BG Urban Café brand group, the company reported that four of its restaurants have now been rebranded under that new name and format, and they are on schedule to have all stores converted by April 2011.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Employee Management, Fast Casual, Growth, News, Sandwiches, Spicy Pickle