Name: Matthew Walls
New title: Chief Franchise Officer, Caribou Coffee
Previous title: Chief Global Development Officer, CKE Restaurants
As Caribou’s first chief franchise officer, Walls will lead Caribou’s domestic and international franchising efforts, according to a release emailed to Restaurant Dive. Caribou, which boasts 732 units, has 273 franchised locations across nine countries. The company added franchising to its U.S. system last fall, after Caribou and Einstein Bagels were combined with Panera Bread to form Panera Brands. The brands were united under one entity in advance of Panera’s rumored return to public markets.
Walls worked as chief global development officer at CKE Restaurants from June 2021 to June 2022, according to LinkedIn. During that time, per the release, Walls aided in CKE’s brand transformation with a “program focused on remodeling stores, incorporating new technology, and enhancing operations.” He also held various roles in operations, e-commerce and logistics at Domino’s Pizza and Yum Brands.
Caribou CEO John Butcher said Walls’ robust experience in franchising and development made him a good candidate for the new C-suite role.
“His proven track record of leading franchising and growth efforts while working with both domestic and international partners makes him uniquely qualified to spearhead Caribou’s franchise business,” Butcher said in the release.
Caribou has grown in the U.S. through a combination of company-owned stores and non-traditional stores, the latter of which total 137 locations, according to the release. Since adding franchising as an option last year, the company has added franchisees in Ohio and Florida, for a total of about 12 franchised units in the U.S.