- BurgerFi International CEO Ian Baines will retire from the company effective June 7, the company said in a press release Monday.
- Baines will serve as an outside consultant to the company for 12 months following his departure.
- COO John Iannucci will lead the company on an interim basis while the organization looks for a new CEO.
As CEO of BurgerFi International since November 2021, Baines oversaw several initiatives, including a marketing and loyalty overhaul last year. The company also partnered with Gopuff in June to test offering delivery during regular and late-night hours.
BurgerFi is in the process of rolling out kiosks across its system and as of March, these devices were in 23 corporate-owned locations and 17 franchised units, Baines said during a March earnings call.
The company is focusing on development in airports. BurgerFi opened a location in Newark Liberty Airport in January and plans to open a unit in Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport later this year, he said. Across both BurgerFi and Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings, the company expects to open a total of 15 to 20 franchised restaurants this year.
BurgerFi International has worked on improving operations and the customer experience at both brands to boost sales and margins, Baines said. This focus led to Anthony’s growing same-store sales by 5% year over year. Margins continued to improve in the first quarter with further stabilization in food costs. BurgerFi hasn’t fared as well, ending the fiscal year with a 7% decrease in same-stores sales compared to the previous year, he said. However, that brand is seeing improved customers satisfaction and a decrease in employee turnover, which will help sales over time. BurgerFi’s first quarter did show signs of improvement ,with sales 2% to 3% better than the previous quarter.
Baines leaves the company after four decades of experience in the restaurant industry, which began as a chef in England, according to BurgerFi’s website. Baines has held leadership positions across several restaurant companies, including various leadership roles at Brinker International, Darden and Smokey Bones, Uno Restaurant Holdings Corporation and Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. In 2020, he became president and CEO of Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings, which BurgerFi bought in 2021 for over $161 million.
Iannucci has nearly 20 years of restaurant experience and has been COO of BurgerFi since January, according to a press release. He previously served as COO of Anthony’s beginning in June 2022. He’s held various leadership positions at companies like The Cheesecake Factory, Max Brenner, Logan’s Roadhouse, Sharis and Birdcall, the company said in the press release.