Cinnabon said Wednesday it has appointed Kat Cole, a veteran of the Hooters chain, as chief operating officer.
In the newly created role, Cole will be responsible for helping the 25-year-old Cinnabon in its growth efforts and to increase guest satisfaction and efficiency levels.
“Kat’s ability to connect with people, both inside and outside the restaurant, makes her the perfect leader to evoke the kind of strategic growth, product and brand innovation that will make Cinnabon’s next 25 years an even sweeter success,” said Gary Bales, president of the 770-unit chain, which is a division of Atlanta-based Focus Brands.
Earlier this year, Bales told Nation's Restaurant News that Cinnabon would be repositioning itself over the next three years as more of a bakery-café concept in an effort to grow its customer base.
Cole, who most recently served as vice president of training and development for Atlanta-based Hooters of America Inc., said she looked forward to working with both Cinnabon and Focus Brands.
“I knew this was the right place for me to share my knowledge," she said. "I look forward to contributing to the strategic and profitable growth of Cinnabon’s franchise partners and I am honored to work with such a world-class franchise organization.”
Cole also serves as chairwoman of the board of directors for the Georgia Restaurant Association and is a board member at the Women’s Foodservice Forum and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.
In addition to Cinnabon, Focus Brands is parent to the Moe's Southwest Grill, Schlotzsky’s and Carvel brands and also is the franchisor of Seattle's Best on certain military bases and in select international markets. Focus Brands is owned by private-equity firm Roark Capital Group.
Contact Elissa Elan at [email protected].