Skip navigation

Popeyes CEO Cheryl Bachelder to keynote MUFSO, share leadership lessons

The 2015 MUFSO Conference will be held in Dallas, Sept. 20-22. For more information and to register visit

What makes a great leader?
Attendees of NRN's 2015 MUFSO will learn the answers to that question and more when Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. and this year's Norman Award recipient, keynotes on Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Bachelder, who led Popeyes' dramatic turnaround when she stepped in as CEO in 2007, will discuss her management philosophy and how attendees can work these insights into their own teams, companies and brands. Her new book, “Dare to Serve: How to Drive Superior Results by Serving Others” focuses on servant leadership and the importance of supporting and leading others above self. It will be a presentation with key takeaways any foodservice executive will find integral for successful management.

Bachelder is an industry heavy hitter eager to speak at MUFSO, the industry's key educational conference.

“Leadership is not about your ambition,” Bachelder says in her book. “It is about bringing out the ambitions of your team.”
When she took the helm at the formerly ailing Popeyes, Bachelder was determined to lead the chain in a new way. She and her team set about to establish a workplace in which people were treated with respect and dignity, and yet challenged to perform at their highest level.
While servant leadership is sometimes dismissed as being too soft or ineffective, Bachelder maintains that it is challenging, tough minded and able to generate results. When she took over at Popeyes, guest visits were in decline, profits were negative and the stock price had fallen from $34 per share in 2002 to $13. By 2014, average restaurant sales had risen 25 percent and profits had increased 40 percent. Popeyes' market share had grown from 14 percent to 21 percent, and its stock price was over $40.

Bachelder's “Dare-to-Serve” management strategy of driving results by encouraging and guiding others also makes her the ideal recipient of the coveted Norman Award from Nation's Restaurant News. Named for the late foodservice pioneer Norman Brinker, the award honors restaurant executives who demonstrate extraordinary leadership skills, and consistently mentor and inspire future industry leaders.
Norman Award winners are selected by an advisory board comprising industry icons and Norman Brinker protégés. Brinker was chairman emeritus and former CEO of Brinker International Inc. He help shape the company into one of the world’s leading casual-dining restaurant organizations. He died in 2009 at the age of 78.
Previous Norman Award recipients are Doug Brooks, former chairman, president and CEO of Brinker; Philip J. Hickey Jr., chairman of Miller's Ale House Inc.; Richard Federico, president and CEO of P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc.; Jon L. Luther, former chairman and CEO of Dunkin' Brands Inc.; and Patrick Doyle, CEO of Domino's Pizza Inc.
Bachelder, whose people-centric management style clearly embodies Brinker's leadership values, insists that executives not only use their position to drive results, but also create conditions for people to perform at their peak — “where they are willing to grow and take risks.”
Bachelder will be recognized during the 56th annual MUFSO conference, to be held Sept. 20-22 at the Hyatt Regency Reunion in Dallas. She will deliver her keynote address on Sept. 22 at 8:15 a.m.

For more information and to register visit >>

MUFSO is managed and presented by Nation's Restaurant News, Restaurant Hospitality and Food Management. Now in its 56th year, MUFSO is the most comprehensive executive conference in the foodservice industry, offering a wide range of content designed to appeal to restaurant decision makers throughout the industry. In addition to showcasing thought-provoking and inspirational keynote addresses, the conference offers more than 30 educational sessions spread across such discipline-focused tracks as Operations, Culinary, Marketing, Restaurateur and Ideas. For more information and to register visit

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.