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Cheryl A. Bachelder is the former CEO Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. and author of Dare to Serve: How to Drive Superior Results by Serving Others. She is known for her crisp strategic thinking, franchisee-focused approach, superior financial performance and the development of outstanding leaders and teams.
Cheryl joined Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. in November 2007 after serving as an active member of the board for a year. She amassed more than 35 years of experience in brand building, operations and public-company management at companies like Yum Brands, Domino's Pizza, RJR Nabisco, The Gillette Company and The Procter & Gamble Company.
At Popeyes, Cheryl promptly established a “Road Map for Results” that focused on four key tenets of growing a restaurant chain: build a distinctive brand, run great restaurants, grow restaurant profits and ramp up new unit growth. This strategic framework led to market share gains of six points, improved guest ratings and increased restaurant margins (400 basis points in five years). The improvement in restaurant performance has led franchisees to remodel the system and accelerate new unit growth both in the U.S. and abroad. In the last six years, the enterprise market cap has grown from $300 million to over $1 billion. At fiscal year-end 2013 Popeyes system-wide revenues were $2.4 billion. These revenues are generated by over 2,248 restaurants operated by 338 franchisees and more than 60,000 restaurant employees in the United States, three territories and 27 foreign countries.
Cheryl created a culture based on the Popeyes Purpose: to inspire servant leaders to achieve superior results. This purpose is expressed in the six principles of how we work together. The Popeyes team focus is to serve the franchise owners well; together we pursuing a bold ambition for the enterprise. This has produced exceptional performance results. In March 2015, Ms. Bachelder will publish a book chronicling the tenets of the Popeyes turnaround, entitled Dare to Serve: How to drive superior results by serving others.
Cheryl has served on the board of directors for Pier 1 Imports, Inc. since 2012, and the advisory board of Agile Pursuits Franchising, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Procter & Gamble, since 2009. She served on the Board of Directors for True Value Company from 2007–2012 and on the Board of the National Restaurant Association May 2009–2012 and Popeyes in 2006.
Prior to serving as Popeyes CEO, Cheryl revitalized brand performance in both retail and consumer goods companies. She was president and chief concept officer for KFC Corporate (2001-2003) creating growth plans for the U.S. business in collaboration with the franchise owners.
From 1995 to 2000, Cheryl served as vice president of marketing and product development for Domino's Pizza, Inc. She was the brand architect responsible for contemporizing the restaurant chain's image and launching the innovative Heatwave bag that improved product quality and drove strong same-store sales growth for five consecutive years across 5,400 units.
Prior to her restaurant experience, Cheryl served as general manager of the LifeSavers Division of RJR Nabisco. Her early career years included brand management roles at The Gillette Company and The Procter & Gamble Company.
In 2012, Cheryl was recognized as Leader of the Year by the Women's Foodservice Forum and received the highest industry award, the Silver Plate, for the quick service restaurant sector, presented by the International Food Manufacturer's Association. Cheryl was also recognized as a 2012 Nation's Restaurant News' Golden Chain Award recipient. The Wall Street Journal recently featured a full page story on the Popeyes turnaround (March 10, 2014).
Cheryl holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA in finance and marketing from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She has been married for 39 years to Chris Bachelder and they have three grown daughters.