Saladworks Hires Mark Mears as Interim Chief Marketing Officer
Mark Mears has joined Saladworks as Interim Chief Marketing Officer. In this role, Mears will lead the company’s efforts in elevating the concept to increase guest frequency in established markets and build brand awareness in emerging markets. The franchise brand is pacing to double in size to have nearly 200 locations open by the end of 2020.
Mears brings over three decades worth of restaurant, retail and hospitality industry experience to his Saladworks role. He has held executive leadership positions including SVP/Chief Marketing Officer for The Cheesecake Factory, EVP/Chief Marketing Officer for Noodles & Company, Chief Marketing Officer for Schlotzsky’s, and President and Chief Concept Officer for Mimi’s Cafe. Mears possesses a unique and diverse background in building growth brands such as PepsiCo/Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Frito-Lay, JCPenney and NBC/Universal, among others. Mears is a visionary business leader with a significant track record of building shareholder value by driving innovation and profitable growth among world-class, high profile brands.
Most recently, Mears served as Chief Growth Officer for L.E.A.F. Growth Ventures, LLC—a consulting firm he founded that leverages the power of four revolutionary, purpose-centric processes (Leadership, Engagement, Accountability and Fulfillment) to help individuals, teams and organizations achieve their full growth potential while making a positive, lasting impact in the world.
“Saladworks has a unique opportunity to tap into the way Guests want to dine today, and the company represents an excellent fit with my personal brand,” said Mears. “For me, I love building teams and I love building brands and this is a great opportunity to do both. Saladworks is extremely well-positioned for longevity and success within the fast-casual segment, offering relevant, fresh toppings for an increasingly health-conscious society. No matter how a Guest wants to create their own meal, we give them that option to be original and make something truly unique. After all, each Guest is different, so each Guest’s salad should embrace one’s preferences, whether dietary, nutritional or guided by taste.”
With over 100 restaurants across the country, Saladworks is growing through franchising to meet the rapidly increasing demand for healthier meal options. As Americans experience a cultural shift toward incorporating a variety of dietary needs and nutritional preferences into their lifestyles, providing Guests with customizable, affordable salads is not a new concept for the established originator in the segment. For more than three decades, Saladworks has been providing carefully-chosen, quality ingredients, along with an ongoing commitment to freshness, flavor and value. Now, with the help of Mears, Saladworks is better positioned to reach its full potential as a leader in the Create Your Own salad space.
“Mark is an exceptionally strong addition to the team, and he has previously driven impressive company growth and marketing results at major franchise brands,” said Saladworks CEO, Kelly Roddy. “Over the next year as we enter our next phase of growth to double our locations to reach the 200 mark, Mark will play an integral role, leading our marketing and culinary strategy that will grow our loyal fanbase and increase awareness of our industry-leading franchise opportunity.”
Saladworks provides a scalable investment opportunity and strong unit-level profitability for entrepreneurs looking to bring healthy, fresh meal options to their communities. The company is expanding its franchise unit count through both traditional restaurant locations and also at nontraditional venues such as airports, military bases and universities. The brand currently has many prime markets still available for franchise development and is actively identifying franchise partners in major cities including Pittsburgh, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Boston, Atlanta and Chicago, while also pursuing franchise development across the states of Ohio, Virginia, New Jersey and North Carolina.