“We are looking forward to Paul chairing the Marketing Committee,” said Jim Squire, CFE, chairman of the SEFF. “With more than 20 years of restaurant and franchise experience and a proven track record at FOCUS Brands, I’m confident his leadership, ideas and results-driven work ethic will further raise the quality and awareness of SEFF’s work in the franchise industry in the Southeast and nationally.”
Macaluso joined Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands in 2011 as chief marketing officer for Moe’s Southwest Grill, where he led the team to achieve 13 consecutive quarters of same store sales increases. In addition, he spearheaded the opening of 185 restaurants and entered seven new states and four new countries –marking several significant achievements for the brand. In November 2014, he was named senior vice president of marketing for the Restaurant Group; he oversees the brand marketing and strategy processes for all brand-level marketing resources including culinary, public relations and creative services for McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Schlotzky’s Bakery Cafe. Prior to his tenure at FOCUS Brands, he held executive positions at Sonic Drive-Ins, Taco Bell and Burger King. He has achieved numerous internal awards at FOCUS Brands and serves on the advisory board for the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference.
Macaluso officially assumed the committee leadership role at the SEFF’s May 12 meeting at which Aziz Hashim delivered a state of franchising message. He urged a more concerted effort to combat “Attacks on the Franchise Industry” with the good news that franchising is a great opportunity maker and the one business model in which people can realize the “American Dream.” Hashim is proof of that: he began washing dishes at Burger King 20 years ago and is now one of the most highly regarded executives in the U.S. and international franchise space. Starting with one location in 1996, he grew to become one of the top 200 franchise operators with several high-profile brands across a plethora of industries and is one of the most successful multi-unit franchisee operators in North America. Founder and general partner of NRD Capital, Hashim was recognized by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2014 as one of the “50 most powerful leaders” in the foodservice industry. He is a member of the Executive Committee for the International Franchise Association (IFA) and will become its chairman in 2016.
The Southeast Franchise Forum (SEFF) is a regional organization established to foster professional relationships throughout the franchise community and to enhance the reputation of franchising through the exchange of information, ideas and solutions. Members meet monthly to address local, regional and national issues that are faced by franchisors and franchisees. For more information on the association, visit www.sefforum.com.