Quiznos named Doug Pendergast president and chief executive Monday, following the resignation of Stuart Mathis, who has left to pursue other opportunities.
The announcement followed a staff reduction Friday among the Denver-based fast-casual sandwich operator’s corporate staff. Quiznos officials declined to give specifics on the staff reduction, except to say that it affected all levels and all departments.
Pendergast joins Quiznos after leaving The Krystal Company, where he was president and chief executive from April 2012 to September 2014. Last week, Krystal named Omar Janjua president and CEO.
Prior to Krystal, Pendergast held the positions of chief development and franchising officer for Craftworks; executive vice president and chief franchise officer for Church’s Chicken; and vice president of strategy for AFC Enterprises Inc., which last year changed its name to Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc.
“Quiznos is an iconic brand, known for quality food, chef-created recipes and an innovative spirit,” Pendergast said in a statement. “I am excited to join the leadership team and to help our franchise owners build their profitability, strengthen their businesses and grow the brand for the future.
“This is a critical and exciting time for the brand,” he added. “Quiznos is operating under a new food cost and supply model that should improve restaurant economics and is in an excellent position to build customer loyalty and frequency.”
Quiznos emerged from bankruptcy protection last year after completing a financial restructuring.
Under the plan, a majority stake held by hedge fund owner Avenue Capital Group was significantly reduced, and controlling interest shifted to a group of private-equity investors, including Oaktree Capital Management, Fortress Investment Group, Caspian Capital Advisors, MSD Capital LP, and others, the company said.
For Quiznos franchisees, however, profitability remains an ongoing issue, and many units have closed across the country. In the U.S., the chain has shrunk to about 1,100 domestic locations, compared with its heyday in 2006, when Quiznos had more than 5,000 restaurants.
Meanwhile, the chain has been growing its international business. Kenneth Cutshaw, president of Quiznos international, has pledged to reach more than 1,000 international locations in more than 40 countries by 2020. In November, the chain had about 650 units outside the U.S.
Doug Benham, Quiznos’ chairman, said in a statement, “We are fortunate to have a leader of Doug’s caliber join the Quiznos team,” referring to Pendergast.
“The breadth of his experience in restaurants and franchising, combined with his leadership experience in turnaround situations makes him uniquely qualified to lead this organization and move Quiznos forward,” Benham added.
Quiznos did not indicate the plans of Mathis, who joined Quiznos in 2012 as CEO.
“On behalf of the board of managers, we thank Stuart for his leadership and many contributions to the business, and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” Benham said.
Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].
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