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Hyatt Named CEO of Church’s Chicken

Church’s Chicken, a portfolio company of Friedman Fleischer & Lowe, has appointed Jim Hyatt its new CEO. Hyatt was most recently president and CEO of Cosi. He succeeds Mel Deane, who served as CEO since December 2009.


Church’s Chicken, the global quick service restaurant chain, today announced the appointment of Jim Hyatt as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Hyatt brings to Church’s Chicken more than 35 years of experience at all levels of restaurant operations, most recently as President and CEO of Così, Inc., a fast-casual dining company, where he has worked since 2007. At Così, Hyatt achieved significant improvements in same store sales and profitability in a difficult economic environment.

Previously, Hyatt spent 16 years as an executive and franchise owner at Burger King Holdings. He most recently served as Executive Vice President and Global Chief Operations Officer where he was instrumental in an organization-wide turnaround in sales and profitability. Hyatt was recruited to Burger King corporate after having been an award-winning Burger King franchisee in the Atlanta market for 11 years. During his time as a Burger King franchisee, Jim represented more than 11,000 restaurants and over 1,200 franchisees in 65 countries while serving on various committees in leadership roles with the National Franchisee Association. Jim also served as Director of Operations at Hardee’s Restaurants from 1986 to 1990.

“We are pleased to bring the talent and track record of Jim Hyatt to Church’s Chicken,” said Tully Friedman, Church’s Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Jim’s unique blend of executive, field, and franchisee experience and exceptional history of driving operational and performance enhancements in restaurant concepts will be a tremendous asset as we continue to grow the business and consistently deliver the best possible dining experience to our customers.”

Hyatt succeeds Mel Deane, who served as CEO since December 2009. The Board thanked Deane for his dedicated service.

“I am very excited to be joining the Church’s team. We have a great brand, a rich heritage and exciting prospects. I am looking forward to working with the management team, our employees, our franchise partners and suppliers to continue growing the Company and providing our customers with high quality food at a value price,” said Hyatt.

Hyatt will be moving to Atlanta and work from Church’s Corporate Restaurant Support Center in Atlanta.

Church’s Chicken is a portfolio company of Friedman Fleischer & Lowe, a San Francisco based private equity firm.

About Church’s Chicken

Founded in San Antonio, Texas in 1952, Church’s Chicken is a highly recognized brand name in the Quick Service Restaurant sector and is one of the largest quick-service chicken concepts in the World. Church’s Chicken serves freshly prepared, high quality, flavorful chicken both Original and Spicy, tender strips and southern style chicken sandwiches with classic sides and hand-made from scratch biscuits. Church’s differentiates from its competitors in the care and attention given in preparation of food, and is positioned as the value leader in the Chicken QSR category. The Church’s system consists of over 1,700 locations worldwide in 23 countries, with system sales approaching $1.2 billion. For more information on Church’s Chicken, visit