FREEBIRDS World Burrito, the fast casual burrito joint with the rock ‘n’ roll attitude, has named Chris Cheek Vice President, Franchise Development. In this newly created position, Cheek will work to find selective franchisee partners across the country.
FREEBIRDS intends to have no more than two dozen operators in the U.S. that exclusively own their preferred geographic territory. These territories will need to sufficiently support a minimum of 10 FREEBIRDS and will average closer to 40. This past March FREEBIRDS signed its first franchise partner, FB Midwest Development. FB Midwest opened its first location in Mission, Kan. in July and will open three additional FREEBIRDS restaurants by the end of 2012.
“We aren’t looking for a lot of franchisees, we just want great ones that can help us build our brand,” said FREEBIRDS President Jim Mizes. “Franchising is an important part of our growth, and we are confident Chris can help us find the right partners.”
Chris Cheek most recently served as the vice president of franchise development for Le Duff America Inc., with traditional and non-traditional franchising responsibility for Bruegger’s bakery-cafés, Timothy’s World Coffee, Michel’s Bakery Cafes, la Madeleine Country French Café and Brioche Doree. The Le Duff America portfolio of brands represents one of the largest bakery-café organizations in North America. In the past five years, Cheek added numerous new franchise commitments for Bruegger’s, Timothy’s World Coffee and Michel’s Bakery Café. Prior to Le Duff, Cheek served as the vice president for franchise development for Bear Rock Franchise Systems, Inc. Cheek holds a Bachelors of Science in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University.