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Nathan’s Famous prioritizes measured development with strategic new hires

Nathan’s Famous prioritizes measured development with strategic new hires

The international “Flavor of New York”, known in part for its annual hot dog eating contests, is bringing some franchising heavy-hitters into the fray.

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Nathan’s Famous, Inc., an American icon in the food and beverage franchise scene, with more than 100 years in the business, has recently announced the hiring of two industry veterans to bolster its franchise sales and development teams.

This is following the brand’s aggressive international growth efforts, which have included plans to take the varied and “Instagrammable” Nathan’s menu to the Middle East.

The first of the new appointments is Erik Mallon, who will serve as the brand’s senior director of franchise development. Mallon has over 25 years of experience in both domestic and international markets, and began his franchising journey with My Gym Children’s Fitness Center, as a multi-unit area developer.

Just before joining the Nathan’s Famous family, Mallon served as the director of company center operations and VP, franchise development, for Huntington Learning Centers, where he led the successful re-franchising efforts of company-owned centers.

The second industry veteran to join the team is Jim Hicks, who comes with over 25 years of senior management experience in restaurant operations and corporate support. Hicks will assume the role of director of operational services and training, and his background includes tenure with food and beverage titans, including Subway, Johnny Rockets, Fresh Enterprises, El Pollo Loco, and Prandium Restaurants.

“The past year has been a busy one as we’ve readied Nathan’s Famous for new franchise growth and development,” said James Walker, senior vice president, restaurants. “Hiring these two industry veterans helps us close out 2019 strong, and prepare for our growth plans beginning in 2020. I’m excited to have Erik and Jim join our team – their reputations have certainly preceded them – and I know they will help us to continue to serve the flavor of New York in new stores across the country.”

Nathan’s Famous currently operates a total of 250 locations worldwide, spread across 13 countries. The brand was established in 1916, making it one of the longest-running in the U.S., and is famed for taking “The Flavor of New York” far and wide.

We recently spoke to James Walker about Nathan’s Famous’ international plans, and he was enthusiastic that the brand would continue to flourish overseas: “Nathan’s is the flavor of New York. We’re knowledgeable about how to translate that internationally on a market-by-market basis, utilizing as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible to reduce supply chain complexity. A lot of American brands go international – whether it’s to Asia, South America, or elsewhere – and those launch restaurants are importing the vast majority of products. We’re working to deliver that same flavor of NYC, but do so in a way that utilizes as few imported products as possible and to take advantage of the supply chains that already exist in the country.”

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