Krispy Kreme has hired Patricia Perry to become its next vice president of U.S. franchise development, the company said Monday.
Perry’s hire signals Krispy Kreme’s desire to revamp its U.S. expansion efforts, said Cindy Bay, senior vice president, U.S. operations and franchising at the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company. "We have expressed our intention to re-focus on domestic franchise growth at the appropriate time, and we are now ready to begin executing a focused strategy of franchise expansion in the United States,” she said in a statement.
Most recently, Perry had served as director of franchising and development at Church’s Chicken, according to LinkedIn. From 2001-2006, she also owned Jasabar Southern Cuisine Restaurant. Because she has experience on the corporate side and has owned her own restaurant, she brings a unique perspective to Krispy Kreme, the company said in a statement.
"The team we are building to grow our U.S. franchise network is impressive,” said Krispy Kreme chief executive James H. Morgan in a statement. “Patricia brings current knowledge of the franchise development market, along with years of restaurant experience.”
Most of Krispy Kreme’s more than 730 locations are outside the U.S. In early December, the company said it had opened its 500th international store, a franchise location in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Krispy Kreme has 96 company-owned and 142 franchised locations in the U.S.
Krispy Kreme, which took a hit from increasingly health-conscious consumers even before the recession, has begun to turn around. The company’s shares hit a multi-year high  on Friday, according to the Associated Press.
“Krispy Kreme brought in new management, closed stores, lowered its debt and changed its business model to cut costs and improve profitability,” the AP reported. “Its financial performance and share price have been slowly but steadily improving since 2009.”
In November, the company reported that its same-store sales for company-owned units had increased 6.8 percent year over year during the third quarter. It was the company’s 16th consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales growth.
No one at Krispy Kreme, including Perry, was immediately available for comment.
Contact Erin Dostal at [email protected] .
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