- Focus Brands promoted Shelley Harris to restaurant category president and hired William Armstrong as chief brand officer of Schlotzsky’s, the company announced Thursday.
- Harris most recently served as SVP of operations for Focus’ restaurant category, and Armstrong joins the company from Wendy’s, where he worked as head of international operations.
- Both Harris and Armstrong have extensive restaurant operations experience, which could help the company as it targets non-traditional and off-premise-focused growth.
By promoting Harris, who has been with the brand for six years, Focus could accelerate and optimize its nontraditional growth plans. At the end of 2021, the company had 313 nontraditional units in its development pipeline, and already boasted 954 such locations across airports, c-stores, amusement parks, ghost kitchens, colleges and more.
The company, which owns Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Schlotzsky’s, has focused much of its operational innovation on Auntie Anne’s and Jamba. Focus has opened co-branded drive-thrus for the chains, and grown Jamba through autonomous robot integrations like Blendid’s robotic kiosks in grocery stores, convenience stores and universities.
But the company has explored operational changes at Schlotzsky’s, as well. This spring, Focus debuted a “Design 1,000” prototype for the sandwich brand in Oklahoma City that includes two drive-thru lanes but no dining room.