A former president of Krispy Kreme has been named CEO of the quick-service Smalls Sliders concept.
Maria Rivera, who served previously as Krispy Kreme’s U.S. president, will take the helm of the Atlanta-based slider concept. She replaces former CEO Joe Lewis.
The now five-unit Smalls was co-founded by Walk-On's Sports Bistreaux founder and CEO Brandon Landry with his nephew Jacob Dugas. The first location opened in 2019 in Baton Rouge, La., and the franchise brand now has about 40 units in development.
Smalls is also backed by Walk-On's investor Drew Brees, a former NFL Hall of Famer. Investment firm 10 Point Capital is also a minority partner. 10 Point Capital’s portfolio includes Walk-On's and Slim Chickens.
Rivera’s resume includes stints at TGI Fridays, Logan’s Roadhouse, Darden Restaurants and The Walt Disney Company.
“Maria brings the energy and tenacity necessary to build a successful brand,” said Landry in a statement. “The quality of our slider was what really hooked Maria. Her passion for people and operational excellence, her deep industry expertise and her commitment to build and develop winning teams will enable our franchisees to successfully expand across the country.”
Rivera in a statement said she is excited to be joining the slider chain early on.
“With strong unit economics and distinctive brand positioning, Smalls Sliders has what it takes to win,” she said. “This is an exciting time for the brand, and I am eager to work alongside our partners to drive forward the impressive work they started.”
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