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Huddle House names Mark Whittle chief development officer

Family-dining chain Huddle House said it has hired franchising veteran Mark Whittle to serve as chief development officer.

Whittle most recently was vice president of real estate for Atlanta-based Focus Brands and has more than 20 years of experience in franchise-support roles at Church’s Chicken, Little Caesars Pizza and Krystal.

“Mark Whittle has the exact experience, vision and passion necessary to take Huddle House to the next level and spark a new altitude of growth,” Ken Keymer, chief executive of Atlanta-based Huddle House, said in a statement Friday. “After the recent launch of our new exterior model and connection to a wider demographic, Whittle will be a key factor in ramping up the development of our brand both internally and externally.”

EARLIER: Huddle House to revamp its restaurants

As chief development officer, Whittle will be charged with leading the 46-year-old chain's franchise sales team while also focusing on brand development, recruitment, site selection and construction, and continuing to update Huddle House’s operations model.

“I’m looking forward to incorporating new characteristics into the Huddle House brand to convey a more contemporary message while still emphasizing the values that differentiate us from our competitors,” Whittle said. “Adding a new modern twist to the timeless elements and incredible history that make Huddle House a household name is just what the brand needs to propel itself into new cities and towns across the U.S.”

Huddle House operates or franchises more than 400 locations in 17 states, primarily in the Southeast, Midwest and Southwest.

Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected].

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