DENVER - August 20,2012 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Smashburger, the expanding better burger restaurant, today announced it has added franchise executive Brett Willis to its growing team as senior vice president of franchise sales. In his new role, Brett will spearhead franchise recruitment initiatives for the company, with a particular focus on developing and executing strategies for non-traditional, domestic and international unit growth.
Mr. Willis possesses over 17 years of experience working with franchised restaurant and business services concepts in a sales capacity, leading to hundreds of unit openings. Most recently, Mr. Willis led franchise development for Johnny Rockets where he primarily focused on non-traditional locations. He also led franchise development for Arby’s Restaurant Group. Prior to Arby’s, Mr. Willis worked for Sonic Drive-In as a franchise sales manager and financial analyst. Brett received his MBA in international business from the Price School of Business at the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a BBA in finance from Oklahoma State University.
“Brett is a well respected member of the restaurant industry and his significant franchise sales experience with high growth concepts makes him a very positive, strategic addition to our senior team,” commented Dave Prokupek, chairman and CEO of Smashburger. “His experience specifically on non-traditional unit growth is particularly relevant as we continue to look for new ways to bring Smashburger’s fresh, premium burgers and menu variety to airports and other non-traditional locations such as food courts, college campuses and casinos. We are pleased to welcome Brett to the team.”
Among Mr. Willis’ priorities at the outset will be the continued focus on domestic expansion in key markets including Chicago, Miami, Washington, D.C., and Boston, as well as continued expansion internationally in Canada.
Smashburger is America’s fastest growing, fast casual “better burger” restaurant. Its hand-crafted burgers are made with fresh, never frozen, 100 per cent Certified Angus Beef, that are “smashed”, seared and seasoned on the grill to juicy perfection for every individual order. Developed and owned by private equity firm Consumer Capital Partners (CCP), Smashburger operates and develops both corporate and multi-unit franchise territories across the globe with 167 restaurants across 27 markets in the United States, one location in Calgary and one in Kuwait. Smashburger recently topped Fast Casual’s 2012 Top Mover & Shakers list, and was named America’s Most Promising Company by Forbes magazine last year. It is the recipient of the International Council of Shopping Centers 2011 Hot Retailer Award and was also named to the 2011 Inc 500 list. To learn more, visit www.smashburger.com.