Industry News | June 18, 2010

Trufoods Hires Restaurant Veteran Michael Lerman

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In an effort to further establish its long-term goal of turning around four brands with historical branding and untapped growth potential Trufoods, LLC, has announced the hiring of long-time restaurant industry veteran Michael J. Lerman, who will serve as the brands’ chief operations officer.

“We are continuously searching to add the ideal components to our executive team so that we can further propel our brands forward,” says Andy Unanue, CEO. “Michael comes to us with a wealth of knowledge and understanding of industry best practices and standards. His leadership ability and desire to further improve our franchise model are integral characteristics to the future of our brands.”

Prior to joining Trufoods, LLC, Lerman held tenures at brand such as McDonald’s, Chili’s, Saxby’s Coffee, and even outside of the restaurant industry at Hollywood Tans. During his time at McDonald’s, he was responsible for the management of a 10-unit restaurant district as the brand’s multi-unit operations consultant where he focused on improving the operational internal structure.

Additionally, Lerman also helped create the operations manual that was crucial to McDonald’s entering into Wal-Marts nationwide; in addition to facilitating regional training classes for both new and experienced managers and owners. Lerman also received the Outstanding Operations Consultant Award for two consecutive years.

After spending 12 years at McDonalds, Lerman worked at Chili’s as a managing partner in the Northeast, where he was credited with lowing turnover by more than 75 percent and created many of the brand’s training programs. From there, he served as vice president of operations at Hollywood Tans and then most recently at Saxby’s Coffee.

While at Saxby’s, in addition to running the operations, training, marketing, and construction departments, Lerman also headed up a program to increase the profitability and sales of the brand’s frozen yogurt while creating and implementing a very successful breakfast and lunch program.

“The opportunity to join a team of high-level executives all dedicated to improving the brands they represent both internally and externally initially led me to Trufoods,” Lerman says. “The growth potential and the ability to stamp my best practices on the brands made this for the ideal opportunity and the perfect next step in my career.”

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