Inspire Brands announced Thursday an organizational realignment that will focus the business around three key segments—brands, commercial and company restaurants, and growth.
As part of the first pillar, Scott Murphy—who previously served as head of beverage & snacking and Dunkin’s president—is now chief brand officer. The industry veteran is tasked with overseeing all of Inspire’s chains (Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dunkin’, Jimmy John’s, Sonic, and Baskin-Robbins). Inspire believes the restructure will maintain each brand’s distinctive positioning, but also facilitate better coordination among the concepts and the company’s overall shared services platform. All individual brand presidents will report to Murphy.
Dan Lynn, who’s worked as chief commercial officer since August 2022, was promoted to chief commercial and restaurant officer. His role now includes directly overseeing Inspire’s nearly 2,200-unit corporately owned footprint and communications. Inspire said a key benefit to its operating model “is that as one of the largest owner-operators of company restaurants in the U.S., the company thinks and operates like an owner, ultimately making Inspire a better franchisor.”
“Aligning Company Restaurants with the Commercial Group accelerates the company’s ability to lead from the front by using company restaurants as a testbed for innovation,” Inspire said in a statement. “This translates to faster progress and operational improvements for the benefit of the entire brand in both company and franchise-owned restaurants.”
Lynn’s responsibilities as chief commercial officer, such as leading demand generation, insights and analytics, brand loyalty, revenue management, and digital experience, remain intact after the change. He will report directly to Inspire CEO Paul Brown.
The third segment, growth, will fall under Christian Charnaux, who continues as chief growth officer. His goals remain the same—helping Inspire expand globally and “further unlocking benefits of business integration across the Inspire portfolio,” Inspire said. The international, development, and supply chain teams will continue to report to Charnaux.
All changes went into effect in mid-November.
With this leadership shift, Inspire hopes to take advantage of its “core strategic capabilities provided by Inspire’s data and technology-enabled platform.”
“This revised organizational structure positions us for accelerated growth and will further enhance the advantages of our tightly integrated shared services platform,” Brown said in a statement. “Ultimately, we believe Inspire’s combination of strong, differentiated brands and its highly innovative business model will continue to drive enhanced value for our franchisees and other stakeholders.”
Inspire, at a recent count, totaled roughly 31,700 restaurants and $30 billion in system sales, making it the second-largest restaurant conglomerate in the U.S. behind Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Habit Burger owner Yum! Brands. All of its quick-service chains are listed in the QSR 50, an annual ranking of the top 50 quick-service chains in terms of U.S. systemwide sales.
Even at that figure, Charnaux told QSR earlier in the year Inspire believes each one of its brands has room to double in size. He added the company saw a “record number of commitments” in 2022.