Carrols Restaurant Group, Burger King’s largest franchisee, on Tuesday named Carl Hauch its chief operating officer. He takes over the job on Feb. 15.
Hauch is an experienced executive—he most recently was the CEO of the Wendy’s division at NPC International, the giant franchisee that is in bankruptcy and being sold mostly to Flynn Restaurant Group. Before that he had been co-CEO with Barnes & Noble.
He will take over operations oversight at Carrols, the Syracuse, N.Y.-based giant operator of Burger King restaurants and some Popeyes locations. The company operates nearly 1,100 restaurants in 23 states.
“He has a depth of experience managing large-scale restaurant and retail operations, as well as a proven reputation for growing businesses and managing costs,” Carrols CEO Dan Accordino said in a statement, saying that Hauch’s “skills will be especially valuable as we re-engage in strong but balanced organic and non-organic growth strategies.”
Hauch will oversee operations for a company that has had to reconfigure its growth strategies before and during the pandemic. The company has been growing almost nonstop over the years largely through acquisitions, but it has been on something of a break over the past year as it has sought to cut down on capital spending.
Those efforts intensified during the pandemic and Carrols recently gave up its right to buy any Burger King that went up for sale in several states as part of an agreement with the franchisor that earned it some relief on remodel requirements.
But Carrols is dipping its toes into the expansion waters more and plans to ramp up its acquisitions and new unit development in the coming months, albeit at a slower pace than before.
Carrols has “created an impressive company that has consistently performed exceptionally well in the face of a competitive and challenging environment,” Hauch said in a statement.