- Modern Restaurant Concepts, which owns Qdoba, Lemonade and Modern Market Eatery, is appointing John Cywinski as CEO and board member effective immediately, according to a company statement emailed to Restaurant Dive.
- Cywinski resigned from his position as president of Applebee’s last week, saying at the time that he was joining another restaurant company as CEO.
- This leadership change comes during a growth phase for MRC. Parent company Butterfly Equity acquired Qdoba last year, and MRC plans to expand Modern Market Eatery into a national brand via franchising.
Cywinski replaces Keith Guilbault and Rob McColgan, who served as Co-CEOs of MRC. Guilbault is leaving MRC to pursue other opportunities, while McColgan will stay on as president of Modern Market Eatery and Lemonade, the company said.
MRC’s newly appointed CEO became president of Applebee’s in 2017. Prior to this role, he served as president at KFC. While leading those brands, Cywinski helped drive significant business turnarounds, according to MRC’s press release. His experience leading major brands may prove invaluable to MRC as the platform grows, Adam Waglay, co-CEO of Butterfly Equity, said. MRC’s brands are poised for substantial expansion, Cywinski said.
“QDOBA is exceptionally well-positioned... with positive comp sales for 11 of the past 13 years, very attractive restaurant-level margins, broad consumer appeal, and the capacity to double in size over the next decade,” Cywinski said.
This potential for scale makes MRC’s brands strong candidates for expansion with “distinguished, proven and culture-driven franchise partners,” he said.