Krystal leadership change brings new president, chief financial officer

Macaluso, Epley leave company abruptly

Krystal has a new president and CFO as part of a leadership change, announced the company. The Krystal Burger chain’s chief executive and chief financial officer are no longer with the company. Previous President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Macaluso and Chief Financial Officer Berry Epley left “to pursue other opportunities.” Tim Ward takes the role of president and chief operating officer, while Bruce Vermilyea now serves as chief financial officer.

Ward, Vermilyea have backgrounds in QSR

Ward previously served as chief operating officer for Captain D’s. There, he worked to deliver eight straight years of positive comp sales, noted Krystal. He also worked for Arby’s/RTM and NPC International/Pizza Hut.

Vermilyea, the new Krystal chief financial officer, held the role of Qdoba CFO for three years. At fast-casual Qdoba, he served in various roles for a total of 18 years.

“We look forward to working with Tim, Bruce and the rest of the Krystal team to build upon some of our recent wins including facility improvements, improved food quality, a recently announced refranchising initiative, and the signing of our first franchise development agreement in over a decade,” said Michael A. Klump, founder and CEO of Argonne Capital Group.

Argonne Capital has invested in On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina, as well as Sonny’s BBQ. It also is a major franchisee of IHOP and Applebee’s.

Krystal leadership change comes as refranchising initiative begins

As Krystal’s new president, Ward takes a chain that has been rebuilding and is ready to push the accelerator on franchising. Prior to the Krystal leadership change, the company tapped The Cypress Group to manage the refranchising of 100 to 150 Krystal restaurants. Surely, Argonne Capital will task Ward and Vermilyea to oversee the refranching efforts that are underway.

[Related article: QA with Krystal CEO, on Iconic Series model]

Krystal will refranchise numerous restaurants in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. Also, the departure of Macaluso, Krystal’s chief executive, is sudden. His branding expertise led a lot of credibility to new franchising initiatives and buy-in for a smaller prototype store model. What’s more, comparable sales at remodeled Krystal stores had exceeded expectations, coming in above 20 percent post-remodel.


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