Cheryl Bachelder, 2017 Executive Honoree


Cheryl A. Bachelder is a passionate restaurant industry executive who recently retired from serving as the CEO Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. Cheryl 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 brings 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 has produced exceptional performance results. This strategic framework led to significant market share gains, improved guest ratings and increased restaurant margins. The improvement in performance has led franchisees to remodel nearly all the restaurants in the system in record time and accelerate new unit growth, both in the U.S. and abroad. In the last eight years, the enterprise market cap has grown from less than $300 million to over $1.3 billion. At fiscal year-end 2015, Popeyes system-wide revenues were $3.1 billion. These revenues are generated by more than 2,539 restaurants operated by 360 franchisees and more than 60,000 restaurant employees in the United States, three territories and 27 foreign countries.

Cheryl has inspired a servant-leader culture that is expressed in Popeyes six guiding principles. These principles and the company purpose – food that ignites our desire to serve – informs how everyone works together. The Popeyes team is focused on serving the franchise owners well. Together, we pursue a bold ambition for the enterprise. In March 2015, Cheryl published Dare to Serve – How to Drive Superior Results by Serving Others that chronicles the tenets of the Popeyes turnaround.

Cheryl has served as a member of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc.’s Board of Directors since November 2006 and also serves on the Board of Directors for Pier 1 Imports, Inc. since 2012; the advisory board of Agile Pursuits Franchising, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Procter & Gamble, since 2009; and International Franchise Association since February 2015. 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. In November 2014, Cheryl was certified as an NACD Board Leadership Fellow.

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 which improved product quality and drove strong same-store sales growth for five consecutive years across 5,400 units.

In September 2015, Cheryl was awarded “The Norman Brinker Award” from Nation’s Restaurant News. She has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times and was named by CNBC’s Jim Cramer as one of his “21 Bankable CEOs” for 2014. In 2012, she was recognized as “Leader of the Year” by the Women’s Foodservice Forum and received the “Silver Plate Award” from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association.

Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and a Masters of Business Administration in finance and marketing from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She has been married for 33 years to Chris Bachelder, and they have three grown daughters.

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