- Fat Brands has hired Jeremy Theisen as its first chief growth officer, the company announced Monday.
- Theisen will focus on expanding the chain’s development pipeline, and joins Fat after a career of helping startups and tech firms in the restaurant segment grow revenue, according to the press release.
- Fat has been expanding aggressively over the last couple of years, pursuing a two-pronged growth approach focused on organic unit development and brand acquisitions, according to its October earnings call.
Theisen joins Fat in the midst of a considerable development pipeline. The company plans to open roughly 1,000 units over five years, representing 43% unit growth, per the earnings call. As chief growth officer, Theisen will recruit franchisees and develop multi-unit deals with existing operators.
The company has opened more than 100 restaurants this year, and is on track to open roughly 125 total by the end of 2022, CEO Andy Wiederhorn said on the company’s Q3 earnings call. In addition to unit growth, Fat has acquired nine brands since September 2020, when it completed its acquisition of Johnny Rockets. While most of the acquisitions took place in 2021, the brand did acquire Nestle Tollhouse Cafe by Chip in May. It is in the process of rebranding those units to Great American Cookies.
On the Q3 earnings call, Wiederhorn said Fat’s main goal in coming years was to fold new acquisitions into the company’s development process.
Fat has leaned into co-branded units, especially its Fatburger/Buffalo Express concept, as a way to boost growth and strengthen sales. The company is also working to add Johnny Rockets as a virtual brand available for existing franchisees, while expanding that brand through ghost kitchens. The breadth of Fat’s brand holdings, which include burger, wing, pizza, Mediterranean, pretzel and dessert concepts, could make co-branding more attractive and offer a wide variety of market segments in which to grow.
Theisen said he had experience working with Fat from previous companies, and was impressed with the company’s growth. He worked as chief revenue officer for PathSpot, a restaurant hygiene startup that saw its revenue increase 15-fold during his tenure, according to the press release. Theisen also served as chief sales officer at Punchh, a restaurant loyalty tech company, and held roles at Google and Truaxis.