ATLANTA, April 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- GPS Hospitality, a rapidly growing franchisee with more than 400 BURGER KING® and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen restaurants in 11 states, today announces the next major step in the organization's growth: the acquisition of 75 Pizza Hut® restaurants in Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee, bringing the grand total of GPS' footprint to 13 states.
GPS Hospitality spent months of reflection and research to identify its third brand, and the company is excited to solidify its agreements to acquire its newest restaurants. The Quick Service Restaurant franchisee expects to break 500 restaurants across the country this year and sees opportunities for future growth within Yum! Brands, the parent company of Pizza Hut.
"Pizza Hut is a mature and beloved brand with dominance in the space," said GPS Hospitality CEO Tom Garrett. "Not only does the brand see value in investing in its people, but also positioning itself as an industry leader with its recent NFL sponsorship, plus innovations with its app and delivery offerings. Our partnership with Pizza Hut is a deliberate move to align ourselves with a brand that reflects our values and business sensibilities. The addition of the third brand and expansion into new territories are major milestones for our company."
GPS Hospitality is also excited to announce the addition of Kent Dawdy as Vice President of Operations to spearhead this new division within the company. Dawdy has more than 30 years of experience in the QSR industry, including more than 20 years with Arby's. Most recently, he worked with Atlanta-based Sterling Restaurants which operates Shane's Rib Shacks and Moe's Southwest Grills.
Dawdy is no stranger to Yum! Brands, having previously held an equity position with KBP foods, a national operator of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell restaurants. Rounding out GPS' Pizza Hut leadership team are Director of Operations Zack Wilcox and Travis Kirkland, both of whom were promoted from District Leaders from the company's Burger King division.
"I am proud to come on board at GPS Hospitality, which has become one of the largest multi-unit franchisees in the United States in just six years," Dawdy said. "The company's Goal Focused, People Oriented and Service Obsessed values have proven itself as great groundwork with Burger King restaurants, and I have no doubt these values will translate into success with the Pizza Hut brand."
"Kent's years of experience in this competitive industry already have made him an invaluable addition at GPS," Garrett said. "We're so fortunate to have him, Zack and Travis leading these restaurant teams and helping to instill our philosophy and dedication in achieving the best guest experience that is so essential to our company's success."
About GPS Hospitality Founded in 2012, GPS Hospitality is a BURGER KING®, Pizza Hut®, and Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen franchisee, operating more than 475 restaurants in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia. GPS Hospitality seeks to become our guests' favorite QSR destination by implementing our brand values of being Goal Focused, People Oriented and Service Obsessed. For more information, please visit www.gpshospitality.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About Pizza Hut® Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., has more restaurant locations in the world than any other pizza company. Founded in 1958 in Wichita, Kan., Pizza Hut operates more than 16,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. With easy order options including the Pizza Hut app, mobile site, and Amazon and Google devices, Pizza Hut is committed to providing an easy pizza experience – from order to delivery – and has the only loyalty program, Hut Rewards, in the U.S. that offers points for every dollar spent on food any way you order. Pizza Hut is also the proprietor of The Literacy Project, an initiative designed to enable access, empower teachers and inspire a lifelong love of reading. The program is rooted in the foundation set by the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program, which is the longest-running corporate supported literacy program, impacting more than 14 million students each year. For more information, visit www.pizzahut.com. Pizza Hut is the Official and Only Pizza Sponsor of the NFL and NCAA®.
About Yum! Brands Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 45,000 restaurants in more than 140 countries and territories and is one of the Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders in North America. In 2018, Yum! Brands was recognized as part of the inaugural Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index and ranked among the top 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. In 2017, Yum! Brands was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index. The company's restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – are the global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Worldwide, the Yum! Brands system opens over seven new restaurants per day on average, making it a leader in global retail development.
About Burger King Worldwide Founded in 1954, the BURGER KING® brand is the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world. The original HOME OF THE WHOPPER®, the BURGER KING® system operates more than 14,000 locations in approximately 100 countries and U.S. territories. Almost 100 percent of BURGER KING® restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees, many of them family-owned operations that have been in business for decades. The BURGER KING® brand is owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc., one of the world's largest quick service restaurant companies with more than $23 billion in system sales and over 19,000 restaurants. To learn more about the BURGER KING® brand, please visit the BURGER KING® brand website at www.bk.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.