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From emerging concepts to watch like Zoës Kitchen to the largest restaurant company in the world, McDonald's, leadership is always the driving force behind successful brands. Nation's Restaurant News points to 10 restaurant executives to watch in 2013 from brands such as Popeyes, California Pizza Kitchen, Sbarro and more.
CEO, Heartland Food Corp.
Having purchased 161 Burger King restaurants during the past 20 months, Heartland Food Corp. is now the second-largest Burger King franchisee, operating a total of 415 locations across eight U.S. states and Canada.
Its chief executive, Ondrula, has spoken of efforts to complete the “Heartlandization” of acquired units, which aims to improve employee morale and build operational efficiencies with new systems and software, labor scheduling tools and the quick completion of any needed repairs or maintenance.
It’s an interesting time to be a franchisee, especially one at Burger King. Not only do macroeconomic pressures loom, most of which affect the operating franchisee more than the parent franchisor, but Burger King itself is in the midst of a turnaround. Heavy efforts surrounding the chain’s menu and marketing have begun to pay off. Many of the menu items introduced in last April’s menu overhaul, including sandwich wraps, soft-serve ice cream and salads, continued to sell well, as did the more premium limited-time barbecue and global same-store sales result rose 1.4 percent, just as its largest rival, McDonald’s, had posted its worst quarterly sales growth result in nearly nine years.offerings that ran during the summer. Burger King’s latest-quarter