Quiznos' new chief executive has pledged to refocus efforts on franchisee profitability.
Stuart Mathis, who joined the Denver-based sandwich brand in late July, said in an interview with Nation’s Restaurant News that growth is important for the 2,800-unit chain. But turning around sinking sales is a top priority, and Mathis believes that will happen if Quiznos does a better job of promoting the quality of its food.
The former president of The UPS Store chain with previous experience as a Domino’s Pizza franchising executive, Mathis was brought in by Quiznos’ new owners. Earlier this year, New York-based hedge fund Avenue Capital Group took a majority stake in the company, injecting about $150 million in capital and eliminating about one-third of the company’s debt.
Along with Mathis, Quiznos also hired former Red Robin Gourmet Burgers marketing chief Susan Lintonsmith as chief marketing officer.
Mathis has made other recent hires. James Lyons, former chief operating officer and chief development officer for Del Taco, was named COO, and John Coletta, former president of Cartridge World and previously with Rock Bottom Restaurants, was named chief financial officer. Kenneth Cutshaw, formerly of Church’s Chicken, was named president of international and also steps in as chief legal officer to replace outgoing general counsel and executive vice president Courtney Seely.
In his first interview with Nation's Restaurant News, Mathis outlined plans ahead for Quiznos.
Where do you see Quiznos right now?
I see a great opportunity. We certainly have issues to overcome, but I see an opportunity to re-energize franchise owners and to get them to take advantage of the great food that we serve, and to provide great customer service, and to re-engage in local store marketing.
We’re refocusing our efforts on becoming more of a restaurant operations company and less focused on development. Development’s important, and we’re going to try to open new stores, but the priority right now is to shore up our base and help our existing franchisees to be more successful.
Can you clarify what you mean by refocusing on operations?
We’re going to be investing in more field resources. We recently announced we’ll be adding a fourth regional vice president. I want to have my regional vice presidents be closer to the field support people and the franchisees...
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