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August 10-12, 2021 | Atlanta – Early Bird registration ends May 28. Sign up today!


Mastering Multi-Unit Expansion

It obviously makes sense to grow your brand via franchise partners you already have, but how do you know which of your franchisees are up for the challenge?

This session will help you evaluate the skills and knowledge of existing partners to see which ones have what it takes to help you expand the brand.

But that’s only half the equation; you must also do your part. Our experts will also help you discover what your company needs in order to support multi-unit ownership.


Downing Barber | Founder & CEO | Barberitos

Downing Barber built Barberitos from an idea to a restaurant chain with 50 locations across seven southeastern states. With more than $40 million in annual sales, the brand celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2020. Downing has instilled a company culture to serve others by focusing on Food, Community and People. He is dedicated to serving farm-fresh food at all locations with items that are made and prepared in-house daily. In addition, he gives back to local non-profits and encourages his employees and operators throughout all locations to be “bigger than a burrito” by also giving back to their communities.

Rafik Farouk | Sr. Director New Franchise Development | Bloomin’​ Brands

Rafik Farouk is the Senior Director of New Franchise Development at Bloomin’ Brands Inc. heading domestic and international franchising spanning nearly 1,000 restaurants across 20 countries throughout North & South America, Asia, and Australia. Specializing in global restaurant operations, positioning for growth, domestic and international franchising, and outsourcing and supply chain solutions, Rafik brings strong industry experience and creative flair in the global restaurant business. Rafik has worked with global brands such as Chili’s Grill & Bar, El Chico, Cantina Laredo, III Forks Prime Steakhouse, Silver Fox Steakhouse, Cool River, Champps Americana, and Seattle Best Coffee, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, What-A-Burger, Chick-fil-A and Jasmine Coffee.

Mahesh Sadarangani | COO | Wingstop

Mahesh G. Sadarangani has served as Wingstop’s Chief Operating Officer since January 2020. Mahesh joined Wingstop in July 2019 as SVP of Channels and has more than 20 years of operational leadership experience. Mahesh previously held executive roles at CEC Entertainment, the parent company for Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza; where he most recently served as Chief Administrative Officer of CEC Entertainment and President of the Peter Piper Pizza brand leading strategy, revenue management, supply chain, and operations. Previous executive roles include the leadership of financial planning and analysis, sales, and various strategic functions across a range of industries and companies.

Kurtis Galyen | VP of New Store Openings | Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Kurtis Galyen currently serves as VP of New Store Openings for Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. Galyen joined the team in 2019 and currently oversees all of the new store opening procedures for all Dickey’s locations nationally and internationally. Prior to his time at Dickey’s, Galyen worked at Raising Canes helping to expand their brand to over 200 locations. In total Kurtis has amassed over 12 years of retail and restaurant experience, specifically in the field of development and expansion.

Jim Perkins | VP of International Development & Support | Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Jim Perkins serves as Vice President of International Development & Support for Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. Jim has vast experience in restaurant and convenience store management and has worked specifically in operations, development, training and financial roles for brands all over the world including Papa Murphy’s, Exxon Mobil and MAM Food Co. Jim graduated from Purdue University and earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. He later went on to further develop his Spanish speaking skills in Sevilla, Spain at the Windsor Institute of Languages. In addition, Jim is the author of the book titled Beyond Bodegas.

Jim Stevens | President | Golden Chick

In 2019, Jim Stevens was appointed as president of Golden Chick, a fast casual chicken restaurant chain with over 185 locations across Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and South Carolina. Jim, a current shareholder of Golden Chick, also currently owns and operates five locations as the president of Prosperity Brands, LLC. Prior to joining the Golden Chick family, he spent time as the chief operating officer of Yoshinoya America, the executive VP of Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc., and the chief operating officer of Captain D’s, LLC (Captain D’s and Grandy’s). From 1999 to 2010, Steven served in various positions for Arby’s Restaurant Group.


Chris Lybeer | Chief Strategy Officer | Revel Systems

Chris Lybeer is the Chief Strategy Officer of Revel Systems. Chris brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in the retail technology industry to Revel. Prior to joining Revel Chris served as the COO for Kredible, a digital marketing company which was acquired by AdvisorEngine and as the VP of Strategic Development for NCR, focusing on innovation, partnerships, and M&A. Over 15 years with Radiant Systems, Chris held a variety of roles including President of the Specialty Retail Division and EVP of the Convenience Store Division. Chris started out his career as a computer engineer with NCR and ultimately led the entire software development organization for their Retail business.

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