Brad Blum Joins the board of U.K.’s LEON and Signs on to Help Cosi
02/09/2012 – Brad Blum, the former CEO of Burger King and Olive Garden Italian Restaurants headquartered in America, as well as founder and owner of BLUM Enterprises has joined the board of LEON, the London-based progressive fast food restaurant company, as an investor, non-executive director, and strategic partner. Blum will help LEON develop its offering in the UK and lead future expansion in the U.S.
BLUM Enterprises, says its mission is to “provide good food for the planet” – food that is exceptionally good tasting, really good for you, you feel good after you eat it, it’s a good value, and good for the environment. According to LEON, these shared values, Blum’s friendship with LEON co-founder John Vincent, and a love for LEON’S delicious food, attracted Blum to this opportunity.
LEON also announced its first franchise deal, with a view to making franchising a key part of its business. LEON has signed a long-term partnership with HMSHost, which will be opening LEON restaurants in the new Kings Cross Train Station development and Heathrow Airport.
“We believe that there will be a few global players who will succeed in serving good fast food,” said Henry Dimbleby, co-founder & CEO. “Our ambition is to be one of them. Brad not only shares our food values, but has an awful lot that he can teach us as we build LEON into what we know it can become.”
On the other side of the Atlantic, Crain’s Chicago Business reported today that Cosi Inc’s recently named CEO and President, Carin Stutz has brought Brad Blum on to consult with Cosi on branding, product development, merchandising and marketing. Blum had been an activist shareholder publically wrestling with the Cosi organization prior to the Stutz appointment.
According to Crain’s, Stutz reached out to Blum and the two met in January. “Frankly, we just hit it off,” Blum told Crain’s. "We're making sure this company (Cosi) gets profitable quickly and in the right way to build shareholder value and keep it as a public company.”
"I am pleased to partner with Carin and her team as she builds a culture to move this great concept forward," said Mr. Blum in a public release to the press. As an investor, I recognized the unrealized potential of the Così brand and I believe there are positive steps being taken to reinvigorate the Così brand. Carin's leadership approach is impressive as is her identification of the key issues in the restaurants that she believes need to be addressed. Her progressive ideas, including having me lend support to the company, are much appreciated."
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