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Inspire Brands names Frank Sickelsmith chief development officer

The owner of Arby’s, Sonic and Dunkin’ is bringing in the former Autogrill executive to help speed its international growth.
Frank Sickelsmith
Frank Sickelsmith/Photo courtesy of Inspire Brands.

The big brand collector Inspire Brands on Thursday named Frank Sickelsmith its chief development officer of international.

Sickelsmith comes to the Atlanta-based company from Autogrill Group, where he was the global vice president of brand development and strategic partnerships and worked with companies like Starbucks, Burger King and The Coca Cola Company.

His job at Inspire is simple: To take its international growth to the next level. Inspire is one of the largest restaurant operators in the U.S., with Arby’s, Sonic, Buffalo Wild Wings and Jimmy John’s. The company’s 2020 acquisition of Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robins gave it a substantial international presence, but most of its brands have only dabbled in markets outside the U.S. Sonic, for instance, is the largest brand without a location outside the U.S.

Inspire, which says its goal is to “supercharge” the growth of its brands, hopes Sickelsmith can bolster its presence in overseas markets. “Working alongside our talented team members, strong existing operators and future franchisees, I look forward to bringing our differentiated brands to guests in new and existing markets,” he said in a statement.

Sickelsmith is being tasked with building an internal team to increase international business development and market planning. The company is establishing new roles in business development, design and construction and market planning.

Inspire has made some inroads recently in international markets and opened 800 locations outside the U.S. last year. Arby’s expanded into Southeast Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Puerto Rico, while Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins opened in Morocco.

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