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Kat Cole Named Chief Operating Officer and President, North America

ATLANTA (June 19, 2017) – FOCUS Brands, the franchisor of iconic brands Auntie Anne’s® , Carvel®, Cinnabon®, McAlister’s Deli®, Moe’s Southwest Grill® and Schlotzsky’s®, continues on the path of industry leading growth by today announcing that Kat Cole has been named Chief Operating Officer and President, North America.  In this new position, Kat will lead the company’s domestic franchise brands in addition to its licensing division.

“Leveraging her deep industry experience and track record of achieving step-change in previous assignments at FOCUS Brands, Kat’s thought leadership, broad executive experience and exceptional communication skills position her well to enable our brand leaders to drive our business with accelerated energy,” said Steve DeSutter, CEO, FOCUS Brands. “Those who have ever met Kat know that she is a uniquely skilled leader. She’s purpose-driven and has the demonstrated ability to bridge the worlds of franchising, large global brands, innovation and entrepreneurship with her collaborative management style.”

Paul Damico, who previously held the position of President, North America, has been named Chief Executive Officer of Naf Naf Grill. “Over the past nine years, in his role as President of Moe’s Southwest Grill and most recently as the leader for all of our brands domestically, Paul had made a big impact on our business and helped us achieve impressive results,” said DeSutter. “It has been a pleasure to work with him, and we truly wish him the best as he takes on this next new role.”

FOCUS Brands is poised for growth in the industry. As a leading developer of global multi-channel foodservice brands, FOCUS has more than 5,000 locations globally and is experiencing growth that is being driven by its focus on consumers, technology, and multichannel development to grow existing markets and bring its concepts to new markets in exciting and relevant ways.

Cole joined FOCUS Brands seven years ago as President of Cinnabon and for the past three years has served as President of FOCUS Brands Global Channels group. Cole has had a central role working in partnership with DeSutter to design and deploy the company’s multi-brand and multi-channel operating model designed to accelerate growth by leveraging the strength and collective power of the company’s multiple brands.

“There has never been a more dynamic time for our brands to stand out in their respective categories. Being bold, purpose driven, authentic and results oriented are central to optimizing our opportunities and impact,” said Cole. “I’m thrilled to leverage the company’s talent, technology and capabilities to connect with our fans, stand for something that’s clear and connected through all we are and do, and drive growth of our amazing brands and businesses with our franchisees and licensees.”

Cole has a long leadership history within the industry, including on the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) Board of Directors since 2009, Executive Committee from 2012 to 2015, and Chair of the Board in 2015 and 2016.  She has a deep connection to purpose and global impact through humanitarian work globally, serves as a member of the United Nations Global Entrepreneur’s Council, and participates in organizations and initiatives in the U.S. and in Africa to help individuals and villages elevate themselves out of poverty.

Recognized for her ongoing impact, Cole was named one of FORTUNE Magazine’s “40 under 40”, named to CNBC’s top 25 Disruptors, Innovators and Leaders, and received the Distinguished Young Alumni award from Georgia State University J. Mack Robinson School of Business. She received her MBA from Georgia State University and honorary doctorate from Johnson and Wales University.

About FOCUS Brands Inc.

Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands Inc. is a leading developer of global multi-channel foodservice brands. FOCUS is the franchisor and operator of more than 5,000 ice cream shoppes, bakeries, restaurants and cafes in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 60 foreign countries under the iconic brand names you know and love: Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Auntie Anne’s® and McAlister’s Deli®, as well as Seattle’s Best Coffee® on certain military bases and in certain international markets. FOCUS is also the sixth largest food and beverage licensor in the world, extending its brands into alternative channels through grocery, consumer products, foodservice and ecommerce. Please visit www.focusbrands.com for more information.

 

Paul Macaluso Promoted to Brand President of McAlister’s Deli

ATLANTA (Dec. 6, 2016) - FOCUS Brands® has promoted Paul Macaluso to President of McAlister’s Deli®, a leading fast-casual restaurant chain best known for its Big & Bold Sandwiches, Famous Sweet Tea and world class hospitality which was recently ranked as one of consumers’ favorite chains by Restaurant Business. 

“By leveraging his extensive restaurant experience, keen consumer insights knowledge and strategic marketing and operating skills Paul will continue to identify and execute against key growth drivers for McAlister’s.  I am confident he will provide leadership to our franchisees and drive continued brand performance in this industry leading concept,” said FOCUS Brands President, North America, Paul Damico.

Paul’s background includes more than 20 years of operations, franchising and marketing experience with some of the most prominent brands in the foodservice industry, including Taco Bell, Burger King, and Sonic Drive-In. Since joining FOCUS Brands in 2011 as Vice President of Marketing for Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Paul has successfully grown into several significant roles within the organization, effectively developing and executing new branding, advancing consumer insights deployment, leading high functioning teams and identifying notable sales driving innovations that have helped the brands continue to deliver superior results.

Most recently, as SVP of Brand Marketing Strategy, Paul led the collective marketing capabilities for all six brands that are a part of FOCUS Brands; developing long term, consumer-driven, strategic planning processes, creating a marketing center of excellence for creative, social media and PR and playing an instrumental role in developing a digital roadmap across the enterprise. 

“I am honored to have this opportunity, and excited to lead the great McAlister’s team and brand in its next stage of growth and innovation,” said Paul Macaluso, President of McAlister’s Deli.

About McAlister’s

Founded in 1989, McAlister’s Deli® is a fast casual restaurant chain known for its sandwiches, spuds, soups, salads, desserts and McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea™. In addition to dine-in and take-out service, McAlister’s also offers catering with a selection of sandwich trays, box lunches, desserts, a hot spud bar and more. With numerous industry accolades, the McAlister’s brand has more than 361 restaurants in 28 states. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, visit www.mcalistersdeli.com.

About FOCUS Brands Inc.

Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands Inc., through its affiliate brands, is the franchisor and operator of more than 5,000 ice cream shoppes, bakeries, restaurants, and cafes in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 60 foreign countries under the brand names Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Auntie Anne’s® and McAlister’s Deli®, as well as Seattle’s Best Coffee® on certain military bases and in certain international markets.  Please visit www.focusbrands.com to learn more.

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FOCUS Brands Inc. Commits to Sourcing Cage Free Eggs by 2026

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Karlie Lahm
FOCUS Brands Inc.
404-705-4411
klahm@focusbrands.com

FOCUS Brands Inc. Commits to Sourcing Cage Free Eggs by 2026

ATLANTA (August 5, 2016) –  In response to a growing consumer sentiment towards cage free eggs and the adoption of this policy by several other food service companies, FOCUS Brands is joining forces with others in the industry and announcing its commitment to sourcing ingredients that contain only cage free eggs. 

While not a large user of eggs or food items with egg as an ingredient, FOCUS Brands will work with its suppliers to ensure that all of its restaurant menu items will contain only cage free eggs by 2026. 

“In addition to industry trends and the growing consumer preference for cage free eggs in other channels such as grocery, today we are casting our vote with consumers and will work toward meeting these new supply standards.” said Rich Kamph, Senior Vice President of FOCUS Brands Global Supply Chain.

About FOCUS Brands Inc.

Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands Inc., through its affiliate brands, is the franchisor and operator of more than 5,000 ice cream shoppes, bakeries, restaurants and cafes in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 60 foreign countries under the brand names Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Auntie Anne’s® and McAlister’s Deli®, as well as Seattle’s Best Coffee® on certain military bases and in certain international markets.  Please visit www.focusbrands.com to learn more.

FOCUS Brands Inc. Names Michael Dixon as Chief Financial Officer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Karlie Lahm
FOCUS Brands Inc.
404-705-4411
klahm@focusbrands.com 

FOCUS Brands Inc. Names Michael Dixon as Chief Financial Officer

ATLANTA (March 1, 2016) FOCUS Brands Inc. announced the appointment of Michael Dixon as Chief Financial Officer for its more than 5,000 ice cream shoppes, bakeries, restaurants and cafes through its affiliate brands, which include Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel®, Cinnabon®, McAlister’s Deli®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, and Schlotzsky’s®.

As CFO, Mike is responsible for the development and execution of the financial strategy that supports the company’s business plans, overseeing all finance, treasury, accounting, budget, tax and audit activities. Mike will be a key member of the executive leadership team, providing input and financial leadership to the company.

“With deep finance experience within both the franchise and company-operated restaurant industry, Mike has demonstrated the ability to provide critical support to differentiated food service brands and manage high-performance teams as a growth-oriented leader and top financial officer,” said Steve DeSutter, CEO, FOCUS Brands Inc.

Mike has served in a number of key financial leadership roles, including more than 15 years in the food service industry. Most recently he served as President and Chief Financial Officer of Ignite Restaurant Group, Inc., where he led financial and other key support functions for the 350 unit, multi-branded restaurant company. Prior to that he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Pinkberry, Inc., Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for The Cheesecake Factory, Inc., Vice President and Controller for Petsmart.com, Director of Finance and Business Development for The Walt Disney Company and as a CPA at Coopers & Lybrand, a predecessor firm to PricewaterhouseCoopers. 

Mike received his bachelor’s degree in business administration and his master’s degree in accounting from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

About FOCUS Brands Inc.

Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands Inc., through its affiliate brands, is the franchisor and operator of more than 5,000 ice cream shoppes, bakeries, restaurants and cafes in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 60 foreign countries under the brand names Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Auntie Anne’s® and McAlister’s Deli®, as well as Seattle’s Best Coffee® on certain military bases and in certain international markets.  Please visit www.focusbrands.com to learn more.

FOCUS Brands Now Offers On-Demand Delivery with Postmates across Full Brand Portfolio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             

Collaboration with Postmates brings delivery service to Cinnabon®, Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Schlotzsky’s®, and McAlister’s Deli®

 ATLANTA, August 24, 2015 – FOCUS Brands Inc. today announced the start of its national roll-out of on-demand delivery services for all six brands in its portfolio, inclusive of Cinnabon®, Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Schlotzsky’s®, and McAlister’s Deli®.  Collaboration with Postmates®, an on-demand logistics company that offers delivery in less than 60 minutes from any store or restaurant, allows fans to get the meal or snack they want, whenever the mood strikes. The new and convenient service kicks off at 34 participating FOCUS Brands locations in top markets including Austin, Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Dallas, and Portland. If the test goes as planned, additional markets will be added throughout the year, providing delivery in all high-density markets by early 2016.

“FOCUS Brands is a developer of global, multi-channel brands, and similar to our growing distribution of Cinnabon goodies in retail and licensing and Auntie Anne’s pretzel products in grocery, ‘On-Demand’ is another way to bring our fans’ favorite brands to them where they are,” said Kat Cole, Group President, FOCUS Brands. “A few clicks on the Postmates mobile app or online browser offers a quick and convenient opportunity for fans to savor the products they crave, when they crave it – like a Cinnabon Classic Roll, a Texas-sized spud from McAlister’s or even an ice cream cake or sundae from Carvel.”

“On-demand delivery is powerfully on-trend and we are excited about today’s announcement. We see on-demand services as a market disrupter with big potential as an innovative tool to help our franchisees grow their businesses,” said Steve DeSutter, CEO, FOCUS Brands. “We are delighted with the traction we have seen at Postmates and with their ability to provide a positive alternative and another way for our guests to enjoy the brands they know and love.”

“We are thrilled to be FOCUS Brands’ first official delivery partner,” said Holger Luedorf, Senior Vice President, Postmates. “Their family of brands are loved by millions of people across the country and, with Postmates, they now have access to their favorite snacks and meals, regardless of where they are.”

To visit any of the FOCUS Brands digital storefronts via Postmates, customers can download the Postmates App in the Apple App Store or on Google Play. For the most up-to-date information on additional market roll-outs and other on-demand delivery news, please visit www.focusbrands.com or www.postmates.com.

About FOCUS Brands Inc.

Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands Inc., through its affiliates, is the franchisor and operator of over 4,000 ice cream shoppes, b­­akeries, restaurants and cafes in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 60 foreign countries under the brand names Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Auntie Anne’s® and McAlister’s Deli®, as well as Seattle’s Best Coffee® on certain military bases and in certain international markets.  Please visit www.focusbrands.com to learn more.

About Postmates 

Postmates is the leading on-demand logistics provider.  With nearly 14,000 active Postmates, the company operates the largest on-demand delivery fleet in 30 major metropolitan markets in the US. Postmates' overall mission is to power local, on-demand logistics focused on fast deliveries from any type of merchant at scale.  The company, founded in 2011 by Bastian Lehmann, Sean Plaice and Sam Street, has raised $130M to date from investors including Tiger Global Management, Slow Ventures, Spark Capital, Founders Fund and Matrix Partners.  For more information, please visit www.postmakes.com.