Church’s Chicken, the global quick-service restaurant chain and its international sister brands Texas Chicken and Church’s Texas Chicken, recently announced the promotion of QSR industry expert Russ Sumrall to SVP, International Strategic Development. The promotion is part of Church’s aggressive development plans to double their presence across APAC, EMEA, and the Americas, with strengthened operations and an exciting new image.
In his previous role as VP, International Development & Franchisee Profitability, Russ Sumrall negotiated deals to launch Texas Chicken into seven countries in East Africa, Cambodia, and Qatar. In addition, he executed numerous new development agreements in Canada, growing Church’s Texas Chicken restaurants across many provinces. Sumrall also supported existing franchisees, by signing new business agreements to add new restaurants with existing franchises in Mexico, Thailand, Singapore, and the Middle East. He has built a high-performing team, which allowed the company to open a record 72 new restaurants during a very challenging 2020.
“We are truly primed for tremendous international growth with our Church’s Texas Chicken and Texas Chicken brands. This has resulted in record setting growth each of the last three years,” said Russ Sumrall. “Today, we operate in 27 international markets and have agreements in place to expand to nine more. Beyond that we are focused on 18 additional markets in the next four years. Our team is ready to bring on great new franchisees to realize dramatic growth for our brands. We are truly bringing the flavorful legendary taste of Texas to the world and I’m honored to lead this growth.”
Prior to joining Church’s Chicken in 2018, Sumrall served in various leadership capacities within the QSR industry also in the chicken category. He started in the QSR industry as a crew member in 1977 and rose to executive positions over the last 40 years. His domestic operations focus transitioned to international markets in 2000. In his elevated leadership role with Church’s, Russ will continue to strengthen our international market entries and bring profitable growth for the brand and our franchisees alongside the brand’s senior leadership team.
“Even in the most challenging of times, Russ has effectively navigated new country entries and robust develop agreements focus on improving profitability across APAC, EMEA, and the Americas. I am proud of the leadership Russ brings to our brands and realizing our tremendous growth across the world,” said Kevin Corning, EVP International Business.
Sumrall holds a master’s degree in Global Hospitality Management from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Science in International Trade and Finance from Louisiana State University.
Founded in San Antonio, TX, in 1952 by George W. Church, Church’s Chicken, along with its sister brands Texas Chicken and Church’s Texas Chicken outside of the U.S., is one of the largest quick-service chicken restaurant chains in the world. The brands specialize in Original and Spicy Chicken freshly prepared throughout the day in small batches that are hand-battered and double-breaded, Tender Strips, sandwiches, honey-butter biscuits made from scratch and freshly baked, and classic, home-style sides all for a great value. Church’s Chicken, Texas Chicken and Church’s Texas Chicken have more than 1,500 locations in 25 countries and global markets and system-wide sales of more than $1 billion. For more information about Church’s Chicken, visit churchs.com. For information on Texas Chicken or Church’s Texas Chicken, visit the landing pages, churchstexaschicken.com and texaschicken.com.