Smalls Sliders names Joe Lewis CEO

First chief executive of cheeseburger-slider concept initially tasked with growth in Gulf South

Smalls Sliders, a cheeseburger-slider concept, named Joe Lewis CEO. Lewis becomes the first chief executive of the Baton Rouge, La.-based venture, which is backed by Walk-On founder Brandon Landry and Drew Brees, former NFL Quarterback. The first Smalls Sliders opened in the fall of 2019 in Baton Rouge, and the chain is now accelerating expansion in the Gulf South Region.

Lewis served as CEO of Twist Brands, a franchisor in the Arts & Crafts and entertainment sector, with 380 locations. He helped to develop the Painting with a Twist, Color Me Mine and Chesapeake Ceramics concepts. Through the leadership of Lewis, the the company added 160 franchise units in 30 months through new franchise partners and M&A activity.

Prior to Twist Brands, Lewis served as vice president & general counsel at Smoothie King Franchises. Over the years, he served as president, CEO, General Counsel and on the Board, supporting Smoothie King in various ways as the company grew from 39 stores to 950 globally.

“Joe’s experience in building franchise icons and expertise in franchise relations make him the perfect fit to assume the reins ahead of our expansion,” said Jacob Dugas, co-founder of Smalls Sliders.

Small Sliders will pursue franchise growth aggressively in the Gulf South as it targets Alexandria, Beaumont, Hattiesburg, Houma/Thibodeaux, Houston, Jackson, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Mobile, Monroe, New Orleans, and Shreveport.


“I am excited about this unique opportunity to work with a quality veteran franchise ownership group who have made a commitment to grow the brand from the ground up the right way,” said Lewis.

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