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Our strong leadership resources include the unbeatable support of FOCUS Brands and McAlister’s Deli®.

FOCUS Brands is a leading developer of global foodservice franchise systems. They’re the indirect parent company of McAlister’s Deli® and six other iconic foodservice brands.

Together, FOCUS Brands and the McAlister’s Deli® Leadership Teams bring their years of experience and expertise to support every area of your franchise business.

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our foodservice experts bring a lot to the table.

The McAlister’s Deli® Leadership Team

Brian Krause

Brian Krause

Chief Development Officer

Joe Guith President

Joe Guith


As Chief Development Officer, Brian Krause is responsible for driving strategic, high-quality growth for our seven brands domestically, getting restaurants open, and liaising with our brand teams and owners to create an all-around best development program in the industry.

Most recently, Brian served as Chief Development Officer of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, responsible for overseeing the Franchising, Real Estate, Development Planning, and Design and Construction departments for the Brand.

Prior to Jimmy John’s, Brian was Senior Vice President, Franchise Development for Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, responsible for the growth of the company’s more than 18 Brands throughout the eastern half of the U.S. and Canada. Joining Wyndham in 2005, Krause held several leadership roles in the company’s franchise development organization as well as Brand operations, as vice president, for the Hotel Group’s number one consumer rated mid-scale limited service brand, responsible for franchise business growth, strategic direction, operational management and customer satisfaction for the midscale brand’s 157 hotels throughout North America.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in Communications from the University of Connecticut.

With 20 years of experience in food service, consumer products and retail, Joe Guith has a passion for growing iconic brands that deliver superior experiences and value for guests and franchisees. In April 2018, he became the President of McAlister’s Deli, where he has been instrumental in positioning the brand for success. Under Joe’s leadership, McAlister’s Deli unveiled a complete brand evolution and restaurant redesign, which has propelled its ongoing growth in 27 states, with more than 450 units currently open and operating. Previously, Joe served as President of Cinnabon and worked in general management and strategy with The Coca-Cola Company and Yum! Brands. Throughout his career, he has built a reputation for driving significant results through strong performance management, application of process-driven improvements and building collaborative, high performing teams. Joe is originally from Michigan and has a BBA and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Natalia Franco, Chief Marketing Officer

A visionary leader with a record of proven results in turning around declining brands, creating shareholder value and providing strategic insights. With more than 30 years of experience, Franco is a highly sought-after executive because of her ability to revitalize brands; through a consistent insightful approach, she continues to successfully grow brands, increase sales, and optimize the P&L, in the global consumer products industry and branded restaurant chains. With this experience.

Franco recently accepted the position of Chief Marketing Officer at McAlister’s Deli, one of the largest brands within the Focus Brands portfolio, where she is bringing her success and experience to turn around the brand’s slow trends and accelerate growth.

As Senior Vice President for DinEquity, she led the IHOP turnaround, achieving increasingly positive same-restaurant sales; after five years of continued business declines, Ihop achieved the highest traffic rate ever. The impact of her strategic acumen and her results, positioned Equity’s stock to be able to achieve price growth from $42 to $106 in less than three years.

Franco extended her leadership into the privately-owned environment by joining California Pizza Kitchen as Chief Brand and Strategy officer. Once again, she brought her strategic thinking and visionary approach and after 18 months the brand had reversed traffic declines, beating the competitive set by 2.5 percentage points. She led all marketing initiatives including Brand Identity, advertising, culinary innovation and Consumer Insights and expanded her scope of responsibilities into Public Relations and communications.

Franco brings a breath of experience in restaurants brands, packaged foods, and beverages, both in the US and Internationally. She has worked with large Fortune company brands, including Coca-Cola, Burger King, Pillsbury, Cheerios, Totino’s and Unilever; throughout her career she led brands for growth through strategy and innovative thinking. She is a leader of excellence in building high performing cross-functional teams across retail, franchisee systems and multichannel environments.

In addition, Franco serves in different non-profit boards including Susan G Komen Atlanta, the Accounting school advisory board for Kennesaw State University and the Atlanta Hispanic Chamber of commerce. She was a board member for The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) twice in her career, and in the early days served to the Board of “Women Venture”.

Franco was recognized by Ad Age as one of the "Top Ten People to Watch” and received the Andy Award of Excellence. She was twice awarded as one of the Top Twelve brands, and twice won an ‘Effie Award of Excellence’ for her advertising work. She was given twice the “Circle of Excellence” award, a business sales performance recognition given by the chairman at Pillsbury and General Mills.

Natalia received a degree in Business in Bogota, Colombia in 1984; she earned a graduate degree in retailing from Universidad de Valencia in Spain and is a Harvard graduate with a certificate degree in Business Management with focus on Consumer Behavior and Marketing in 1988. She has lived in 7 countries, where she has leveraged her passion for food and wine. She speaks three languages and has a grown son and two golden doodles.

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