Corner Bakery Cafe has named hospitality industry veteran Jonathan Benjamin as Vice President of Franchise Sales. Benjamin will spearhead franchise development as the 20-year-old brand seeks to complement its corporate presence across the country through an aggressive franchising program.
Benjamin is a former Vice President of Development at Wyndham Worldwide, Global Hyatt, and US Franchise Systems, Inc., and brings to the position more than 14 years of proven sales track records, exceptional leadership and performance-based results. He previously managed franchise sales teams that led to the significant growth of some of the world's leading hospitality brands in North America.
Benjamin will be responsible for managing franchise growth and awarding multi-unit deals to new area developers. Corner Bakery Cafe, which ensured its corporate-owned cafes were operating efficiently before starting to franchise, boasts an 18.4 percent EBITDA and reported an average unit volume exceeding $2.2 million. He joins the executive team amidst a period of unprecedented growth in which the company signed multi-unit franchise agreements totaling 54 locations in 2011.
"This brand has the advantage of strong awareness that has been built over 20 years through corporate-owned locations in communities around the country," Benjamin said. "Now, as we step up franchising efforts, one of my goals is to ensure the company grows through consideration of qualified individuals with sharp business acumen and a proven track record in their fields."
Corner Bakery Cafe will open 22 locations this year and plans to double its system size in the next three-and-a -half years. Key markets available for expansion include metropolitan New York, Northern California and St. Louis, among others.
"We've perfected the recipe of success by operating company-owned Corner Bakery Cafes for more than 20 years," CEO Mike Hislop said.
"With numerous multi-unit franchise agreements in motion and support from franchise-focused Roark Capital Group, it's the right time to bring Jonathan Benjamin on board, a seasoned franchise developer who can help take our brand to the next level."