ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--“We must do more. We must step up. We must lead by example,” said Company Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joe Christina to a captive audience including Church’s Chicken franchisees, management personnel, field team leaders, and company executives at the Company’s annual Business Information Meeting, held in Dallas, TX Tuesday. The message was a strong reflection of the company’s re-energized vision for the future – to become the global franchisor of choice.
Since taking the helm at one of the world’s largest fried chicken restaurant brands at the end of 2016, Christina has brought new promise and energy to the 65-year-old business. A renewed focus on customer service followed with a challenge to deliver great chicken experiences guests love. “We’ve created a common voice that unites us...and have paved the way for a clear path which has guided us throughout the past 306 days,” Christina said in his remarks. “I believe we’re on the right track. I haven’t done this alone – and cannot do it alone. The business – our business – can only be stronger, more successful, and more profitable when we work together...”
Christina then shared progress to date including a refinancing of corporate debt which will allow the company to invest more in the system over the coming years. At the same time, significant supply chain cost savings have been implemented, creating a leaner, more streamlined corporate structure that can simultaneously address new growth and improvements to existing restaurants and infrastructure. The CEO also detailed other system-wide benefits such as a new 8-year beverage contract with The Coca-Cola Company that includes more beverage flavors as well as new equipment and water filtration systems. Drive-thru operations have also been re-tooled for faster through put, and domestic remodels with a new, refreshed image are also on the horizon. All of these topics were at the forefront of franchisee goals when Christina took over leadership, and the CEO’s rapid positive response has earned him valuable credibility with the entire franchise network.
Being a former franchisee himself, and a proven Operations specialist, Christina already had the confidence of the system. Recently, he stood shoulder to shoulder serving customers with restaurant team members in Beeville, TX for a “pay what you can” event that provided much-needed hot, fresh, hearty meals to those displaced by Hurricane Harvey. He also made a point to connect with local community leadership on how Church’s can be of further help. Church’s has also doubled down on its commitment to community by sponsoring job fairs in St. Louis, providing clear paths for career advancement in Compton and other cities, and taking part in the Atlanta BronzeLens Film Festival celebrating diversity in film.
“There’s not a moment, hour, day, or night that I don’t think about the success of this brand,” Christina promised the crowd. “[I’m devoted to] keeping us on track, making us more profitable...to holding our teams and our franchisees accountable, and making team members proud of what they do and who they serve...and to feel Church’s is a great place to work and grow. This brand deserves it.”
Christina concluded his remarks with a call to action for franchisees, employees and vendors to find ways to do more to live the values and advance the framework created during his ten months on the job. “We need to accept responsibility and hold ourselves accountable to deliver results through hard work, discipline, and a shared commitment to make a difference in our restaurants and the communities we serve,” he said.
The annual Business Information Meeting calls together domestic franchisees and restaurant management leadership to share best practices and sets the stage for the opening of the Excellence in Leadership Conference, which draws more than 800 attendees.
About Church’s Chicken®
Founded in San Antonio, TX in 1952 by George W. Church, Church’s Chicken, along with its sister brand Texas Chicken® outside of the Americas, is one of the largest quick service chicken restaurant chains in the world. The brands specialize in Original and Spicy Chicken freshly prepared throughout the day in small batches that are hand-battered and double-breaded, Tender Strips®, sandwiches, honey-butter biscuits made from scratch and freshly baked, and classic, home-style sides all for a great value. Church’s Chicken and Texas Chicken have more than 1,500 locations in 23 countries and global markets and system-wide sales of more than $1 billion. For more information, visit www.churchs.com. Follow Church’s on Facebook at www.facebook.com/churchschicken and Twitter at www.twitter.com/churchschicken.